books, reviews

Book Review: Driven – Dane Cobain

This is the first book about private detective James Leipfold and his tech savvy assistant Maile O’Hara.

A young woman is killed by a car, a car that doesn’t appear to have had a driver. So who killed her?

Leipfold is a down at heel gumshoe, picking up this case on a whim, no client needed. Along the way he recruits an “intern” to complement his old school methods with newer ones. But is he going to solve the case or end up a casualty of it?

I wasn’t sure about this at first, while the initial set up was intriguing, it wasn’t until the plot picked up pace and the case began to unravel that I really got into it.

The characters are interesting – I am looking forward to book 2 and hopefully more back story about the team that now comprises Leipfold Detectives, especially computer genius but enigma Maile.

I love the little details like the way Maile and Leipfold complete crosswords without speaking, and Leipfold’s relationship with police detective Jack Cholmondley (pronounced Chumley fyi).

The London setting is of course familiar to me – from the run down cafe, endless miles of Underground and leafy suburbs around its edges.

The author, Dane Cobain, is something of a literary polymath, having written novels, poetry, non-fiction and edited anthologies, although this seems to be his first detective novel.

Driven is available now.

books, reviews

The Hog’s Back Mystery – Freeman Wills Croft

The British Library has released a collection of crime novels from the Golden Age, when writers like Agatha Christie were at their peak. Freeman Wills Croft, who knew Christie, wrote more than 30 novels during this time.

Dr James Earle disappears from his house one Sunday, Inspector French is called in to locate him. Soon other people are disappearing and French is embroiled in a web of romantic entanglements and intrigue.

I really enjoyed this book, I’m a big fan of Christie and other writers of the period, like Raymond Chandler, so I was really pleased when a kind friend sent me this book.

Sometimes I can guess whodunnit, but I prefer it, when like this one, I can’t guess at all how it will unravel.