Murder in Piccadilly
By Charles Kingston
Rating: 2.5/5 Stairs
I really wanted to love this book. So many elements that I enjoy. Classic crime – originally published in 1936 – set in London with a Scotland Yard Investigator on the case.
Murder in Piccadilly was not the novel I was hoping for. It’s premise is different than a typical who-done-it. The first half of the novel is the set up to the murder – and we know exactly why the victim was killed, and in general who was behind the deed. I was okay with this; I enjoy watching the TV Show Columbo, in which we always witness the murder before Lieutenant Columbo arrives on scene. The fun in these mysteries is watching Columbo at work to catch the murderer.
The problem with Murder in Piccadilly is that I was not that interested in Scotland Yard’s Chief Inspector Wake. We only see him on the case, and don’t learn a lot about him from a personal perspective. I wanted to be interested in his investigation style, but I just couldn’t get behind the character. Part of the problem may have been that the novel didn’t shift focus with the murder solely to Wake and his investigation, but instead bounced between Wake and the other main characters from the first half of the novel.
I really enjoyed the 1930’s London setting, and felt like the book had a lot of promise. There is a fun little twist towards the end, but for the most part I was a bit disappointed in the way the case wrapped up. The ending left me feeling a bit let down. As far as the armchair detective goes, there really isn’t much detecting in the novel.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.