Ten Little Herrings by L. C. Tyler is the second book in a series of homage-spoof-parody to the classic mystery starring crime-writer Ethelred Tressider and his literary agent Elsie Thirkettle. I had the first book, The Herring Seller’s Apprentice out from the library a while ago but didn’t get around to reading it. On my last library visit I was really in the mood for cosy and lighthearted crime but found only the second instalment. Oh well, I didn’t want to wait and just started reading this one. And I’m glad I did because it was lots of fun!
Ten Little Herrings takes on the classic of crime fiction, the country house murder. The country house in question is a hotel in France and just why and how Ethelred and Elsie come to be there, I’ll let you find out for yourselves.
Apart from Elsie and Ethelred, most other guests are part of a convention of stamp collectors. They are a much more deadly bunch then you’d first assume (or possibly not, if you’ve read The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) and it doesn’t take long before they start murdering each other. While Ethelred ponders, Elsie pounces, and the result is just hilarious. What I really enjoyed was the alternating point of view, Ethelred provides a bit of background information and Elsie does most of the chasing. The sleuthing is noticeably done by amateurs, but always with perfect grammar!
I tend to side automatically with characters (and people) who love chocolate and Elsie was no exception. This gets her into all sorts of trouble but I thought she had a perfectly good reason 😉 Also, gotta love her publishing ethics, even if I do feel a bit sorry for Ethelred:
The Elsie Thirkettle Agency quickly attracted a number of promising young authors of high literary merit, but I managed to dump most of them. It’s a question of quality, not quantity, you see. The agricultural revolution was all about getting two crops a year out of a field that previously gave you one. It’s much the same with books. The royalties on a book that has taken five years to produce are usually much the same as on one written in six months. I can double-, sometimes treble-, crop my authors.
If the weather in your part of the world is anything like it is here at the moment – cold, wet, very windy- then put the kettle on and curl up with Elsie and Ethelred!
Have you reviewed this book? Let me know and I’ll add a link!