Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Review: The Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher Lord

Today Kerry Hammond reviews the Edwin Drood Murders, by Christopher Lord.

The Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher LordThe Edwin Drood Murders by Christopher Lord is the second book in the Dickens Junction Mystery series featuring bookstore owner and Charles Dickens scholar Simon Alastair and his partner, journalist Zach Benjamin.
I’m a fan of Charles Dickens, but really didn’t have much prior knowledge about The Mystery of Edwin Drood other than the fact that Dickens died before he finished the book.
In Christopher Lord’s novel, the International Society of Droodists are a group of scholars and fans of Dickens’ last work. They are meeting for a conference in Dickens Junction, and Simon Alastair is co-chair of the event. One of the big draws of the conference, other than being around like-minded Drood followers, is the unveiling of a document purported to be some of the missing notes written by Charles Dickens. These notes, called Number Plan Six, could reveal how Dickens planned to end the story and who he was going to name as murderer.
A brilliant morning shines on the old city. Its antiquities and ruins are surpassingly beautiful, with the lusty ivy gleaming in the sun, and the rich trees waving in the balmy air. Changes of glorious light from moving boughs, songs of birds, scents from gardens, woods, and fields—or rather, from the one great garden of the whole cultivated island in its yielding time—penetrate into the Cathedral, subdue its earthy odour, and preach the Resurrection and the Life. The cold stone tombs of centuries ago grow warm, and flecks of brightness dart into the sternest marble corners of the building, fluttering there like wings…
The service comes to an end, and the servitors disperse to breakfast. Mr. Datchery accosts his last new acquaintance out­side, when the Choir (as much in a hurry to get their bedgowns off, as they were but now to get them on) have scuffled away…
Mrs. Tope’s care has spread a very neat, clean breakfast ready for her lodger. Before sitting down to it, he opens his corner-cupboard door; takes his bit of chalk from its shelf; adds one thick line to the score, extending from the top of the cupboard-door to the bottom; and then falls to with an appetite.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Charles Dickens
June 8, 1870
[Very mysterious, indeed...]

This review original appeared on Criminal Element

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