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A modern police procedural grounded in the classics

Death in Profile

by Guy Fraser-Sampson

Urbane Publications

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date: March 17, 2016


All mystery lovers will attest to the fact that the mystery genre provides an intimate look at human psychology, individual motivation, and the actions that an individual may be driven to. Intellect and empathy both play a role in detection. Guy Fraser-Sampson takes this to heart in the first book in his newest series Death in Profile.

For months a killer has been stalking women, raping them before leaving them dead. Media and political pressures regarding the lack of progress lead to the case being assigned to Superintendent Collinson. Lack of leads encourages him to seek advice of a psychologist, a gifted but eccentric academic.

Lovers of classic British mystery will be thrilled by the tribute paid to Dorothy Sayers, the creator of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries. Indeed part of what makes this novel unique is that the profiler, when under extreme stress, retreats into Sayers’s world, taking on Wimsey’s persona.

While at heart Death in Profile is a police procedural, it also a reader’s mystery, acknowledging the vast amount of information absorbed over time through the avid reading of novels. Fiction is a reflection of reality and much that is useful can be learned, even if it doesn’t come into use until years later. Guy Fraser-Sampson is a skilled author and Death In Profile is a riveting mystery.


I received a copy of Death in Profile from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



The genteel façade of London’s Hampstead is shattered by a series of terrifying murders, and the ensuing police hunt is threatened by internal politics, and a burgeoning love triangle within the investigative team. Pressurised by senior officers desperate for a result a new initiative is clearly needed, but what?

Intellectual analysis and police procedure vie with the gut instinct of ‘copper’s nose’, and help appears to offer itself from a very unlikely source – a famous fictional detective. A psychological profile of the murderer allows the police to narrow down their search, but will Scotland Yard lose patience with the team before they can crack the case?

Praised by fellow authors and readers alike, this is a truly original crime story, speaking to a contemporary audience yet harking back to the Golden Age of detective fiction. Intelligent, quirky and mannered, it has been described as ‘a love letter to the detective novel’. Above it all hovers Hampstead, a magical village evoking the elegance of an earlier time, and the spirit of mystery-solving detectives.

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