The Beach Party Mystery
by Peter Bartram
It’s my stop on the “The Beach Party Blog Tour” blog tour! The author Peter Bartram kindly provided me with a signed copy of his book in exchange for my honest review. As usual, huge thanks also to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invite.
Murder stalks the beach party…
Brighton is about to host its most exciting beach party ever – with the world’s biggest name in rock music headlining the show. It seems a world away from the work of Evening Chronicle crime reporter Colin Crampton. But that’s before fraudster Claude Winterbottom is beaten to death. As Colin investigates the crime, he finds there are too many suspects. Like Manfred Crouchpenny, the fattest loan shark in the world. Or Jeremiah Clarke, leader of a band of purity campaigners. And who is the mystery woman who hides behind the pseudonym Astraea? The climax explodes on a pirate radio ship moored off the British coast. There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and feisty girlfriend Shirley Goldsmith race against time to save countless lives at the beach party.
“The Beach Party Mystery” is my first read by Peter Bartram and my first experience of leading man Colin Crampton. This is the thirteenth Crampton of the Chronicle mystery, and the eighth novel in the series but don’t let that stop you reading this book, it works very well as a stand alone read.
As far as I can understand from the rest of the titles, Colin always seems to find himself caught up in the details of mystery and this book is no exception. Colin soon finds himself digging into the circumstances around the murder of Claude Winterbottom, a man who many believe finally got what he deserved.
My favourite thing about this book is how English it is and it was especially nice to read about a mystery that wasn’t easily solvable with the use of technology and GPS tracking. 1966 didn’t have all of these conveniences that we’re so used to reading about in present day and futuristic crime stories so the investigation felt a little more of a challenge with a whodunnit feel.
This book is full of light-hearted humour and that made for an enjoyable read as it slowly built up to the climax on Seabreeze, a pirate radio ship moored off the coast. I was particularly interested in the opening chapter which explained a little bit about how pirate radio ships work and the reasons behind them.
I wasn’t so keen on the style of writing and felt that the narration went off at tangents several times, but honestly I think this style suits this cozy mystery well so this is only a personal preference. I’d recommend this book for fans of detective stories and for someone looking for a classic who dunnit with a few twists along the way.
Overall rating: “The Beach Party Mystery” wasn’t my favourite crime story, but it was still a great read. The characters are engaging and the narration had a charming feel to it. I’d definitely recommend it!
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if you like what you’ve read about it, support the author by picking up a copy on Kindle or Paperback through Amazon UK.