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Death Scene solid mystery but lacks 1920s feel

Death Scene A 1920s mystery by Jane A. Adams Severn House

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 01 Jul 2017


Death Scene’s biggest flaw is that it lacks the feel of the 1920’s. While technically correct, it doesn't capture the romance and mystery of the silent film industry as I had hoped. Instead, Death Scene is pretty much a standard police procedural that could be set anytime pre-1970. It isn’t a bad mystery but from the description and the cover I expected more film industry involvement. As a police procedural, it is solidly written with a strong focus on character - particularly that of the lead, DCI Henry Johnstone. Much of the novel is devoted to his memories of his and his sister’s difficult youth with their uncaring father and his memories of WWI. His DS is supportive, having been in the war alongside Johnstone and being the one individual other than his sister who knows his background. Jane Adams puts a lot of effort into character development, even that of peripheral characters. The people are realistic, a characteristic I definitely admire. If you are looking for the romance of a film industry murder, there are better choices, but if you consider Death Scene as part of a larger procedural series, you will definitely enjoy it.

4 / 5

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



Detective Chief Inspector Henry Johnstone is summoned to investigate the murder of a silent movie star in this compelling historical mystery. 1928. A rising star of the silent screen, Cissie Rowe had a bright future ahead of her in the new talking pictures. Not any more. Cissie had died, tragically, many times on screen – but this time it’s for real. When Cissie is found brutally murdered in her own home, DCI Henry Johnstone and DS Mickey Hitchens are despatched to the seaside town of Shoreham-by-Sea to investigate. Famed for the quality of its light, Shoreham is home to a film studio and thriving theatrical community. But who among them would want the popular young actress dead? The two London detectives soon discover that no one, including the victim, is quite what they seem – and that the make-believe continues both on and off the famous glasshouse stage.

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