Happy publication day to Simon R. Green and Severn House!
EXCERPT: ‘It all began back in the eighteenth century, when the Bergin family was a lot more prosperous than it is now. They were rich, powerful, and much looked up to in the area. The eldest daughter was to be married, but the groom had been engaged to someone else. He broke that off to marry the Bergin daughter. The spurned woman made all kinds of threats, but who was she to stand against the mighty Bergin family? The marriage went ahead as planned. Half the county was there to wish the young couple every happiness. But the woman he’d slighted sneaked into the church and murdered both the bride and the groom while they were standing at the altar. Stabbed them to death in a frenzy before the family could drag her away.
They hanged her, right there in the church, too angry to wait for a trial and official justice.But with her last owrds, the witch put a curse on the Bergin family. That no daughter of theirs would ever be able to marry, because an invisible demon would kill the groom on their wedding night. It would also kill anyone who tried to protect the bride, or get in the way of its vengeance. No more happy ever afters for a Bergin bride.’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: A wedding. A murder. A 200-year-old curse: Ishmael Jones is plunged into a baffling investigation when he answers an old friend’s call for help.
Although he hasn’t seen Robert Bergin for 40 years, Ishmael feels duty bound to respond when his old friend calls for help. Robert’s daughter Gillian is about to be married, and he is afraid she’ll fall prey to the ancient family curse.
Arriving in rural Yorkshire, Ishmael and his partner Penny learn that the vicar who was to perform the ceremony has been found dead in the church, hanging from his own bell rope. With no clues, no evidence and no known motive, many locals believe the curse is responsible. Or is someone just using it as a smokescreen for murder? With the wedding due to take place the following day, Ishmael has just a few hours to uncover the truth.
But his investigations are hampered by sudden flashes of memory: memories of the time before he was human. What is it Ishmael’s former self is trying to tell him … ?
MY THOUGHTS: Bradenford is somewhere we have all been – a small country town in the middle of nowhere with far too much past and not enough future. Yet interestingly enough, it has traffic lights…and seemingly more than one set. But I digress…..it is the perfect setting for a mystery that has a vicar hanged by his own bell rope, a family curse going back centuries, a police investigation conspicuous by its absence, an alien and a ……well, if I tell you that, it will give the whole game away!
I am a solid fan of this amusing series. The books are short (this one a mere 140 pages), entertaining and easy to read. Quite Agatha Christiesque, if you discount the alien, though there are times when I wonder about Poirot!
I love Green’s writing, which inevitably makes me smile with pleasure. He is the master of pithy comments – ‘There’s a time and a place for being right.’ But he also has a beautiful turn of phrase – ‘Loose ends from the past, still haunting the present.’
Although the books are short, Green’s characters are remarkably full bodied and designed to complement one another.
Although I felt that this was the weakest of the series, it is still deserving of 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 rather than down.
THE AUTHOR: Simon R. Green is a bestselling British author of sci-fi and fantasy. Born in 1955 in Bradford-Upon-Avon, Wiltshire, where he still lives, he has become a prolific author of his genre.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Severn House via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Till Sudden Death Do Us Part by Simon R. Green for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the ‘about’ page on my webpage, sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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