Thursday, May 27, 2021

Classic Locked-Room Mystery


Yorkshire Murder Mystery # 6
J.R. Ellis
Thomas & Mercer
May 27, 2021

The Whitby Murders takes DCI Jim Oldroyd off his beaten track to Whitby in the far north of Yorkshire. Whitby plays a prominent part in Bram Stoker's Dracula; the Count leaves the ship bearing him to England in the form of a huge black dog. The ruins of Whitby Abbey overlooking the town make a perfect setting for "Goth Weekend" when tourists invade for spooky good fun. DCI Oldroyd's young adult daughter, Louise, and a group of her friends head off to one of Whitby's "escape rooms." There, they role-play and try to escape from the room with the clues supplied. Things go drastically wrong when one of a couple, Dominic, stabs his partner, Andrea, to death and escapes. The couple is known to have a volatile relationship, and CCTV says that is what happened. But Louise has a gut feeling that something is wrong. She calls in Jim, hoping that he can look into the case.

There is nothing I like more than a classic locked-room mystery, but I am afraid The Whitby Murders missed the mark for me. The plot seemed unnecessarily complicated; I had the "who" but not the "why" figured out quickly. I also thought that the Whitby detective was entirely too cooperative with Jim messing about with her case, even though they were former colleagues. That being said, I did enjoy the characters, as usual, especially Andy Carter and Stephanie Johnson, Jim's investigative team. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy. I have read and enjoyed the previous books in the series much more than this one, so this was a bit disappointing. The opinions are my own.

RATING- 3 Stars

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