The Mysterious Bookshop

Tyler, L. C., The Herring-Seller's Apprentice

Publishers Weekly

Fans of comic mysteries will welcome British author Tyler's debut, the first in a series to feature novelist Ethelred Tressider and his chocoholic literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle. When the body of Tressider's ex-wife, Geraldine, turns up near his West Sussex home, the police mark Tressider as a person of interest. Aided by Thirkettle, Tressider investigates other suspects, as the official theory switches from possible suicide to a serial killer. One-third of the way in, Tressider's Wodehousian narrative voice ("You'll have found the same thing yourself, of course. Just when you think you have committed the perfect crime, things most unfairly take a turn for the worse") switches to that of Thirkettle, who doesn't miss a beat sustaining the light tone ("If there's one thing that gets up my sodding nose, it's starting a new chapter and finding that the poxy narrator has changed"). The resolution may not satisfy everyone, but the lively characters and amusing banter will bring most readers back for more.