cover image The Man That Got Away: A Constable Twitten Mystery

The Man That Got Away: A Constable Twitten Mystery

Lynne Truss. Bloomsbury, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4088-9054-7

Truss’s comic mystery debut, 2018’s A Shot in the Dark, concluded with Constable Peregrine Twitten, of the Brighton, England, police force, discovering that the mastermind orchestrating organized crime in that seaside resort was none other than Mrs. Groynes, the police department’s unassuming charlady. In this delightful sequel, also set in 1957, Twitten has been unable to persuade anyone else of that truth. His duel with Groynes and continued efforts to get his dim superior, Insp. Geoffrey Steine, to see the light serve as backdrop to his inquiry into the throat-slitting of 17-year-old Peter Dupont, a junior clerk in the Sewerage and Waterworks Department. By chance, Twitten previously eavesdropped on a cryptic conversation the victim had about running away with his girlfriend, Deirdre Benson; during that talk, Peter warned Deirdre that their plans must be kept secret from her violent family, which she claimed were responsible for killing “Uncle Ken” and leaving part of his body in a trunk at the train station. Twitten’s dogged sleuthing and Steine’s unrelenting idiocy build toward a surprising but logical reveal. Truss perfectly blends humor and detection. Agent: Anthony Goff, David Higham Assoc. (U.K.). (Oct.)