Day: July 28, 2016

Review: The Arsenic Labyrinth (2007) by Martin Edwards

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

First publish in Great Britain by Allison & Busby, 2007. This paperback edition published by Allison and Busby in 2008. ISBN: 978 0 7490 8004 4. 416 pages.

e5152f52e677a2d597047536951444341587343Synopsis: Historian Daniel Kind is finding the winter months at Brackdale tough, especially so as his relationship with Miranda is also going through a dark time. Far from the bright lights of London and with the renovations behind schedule and over-budget, Miranda has a bad case of itchy feet. The fear that she may just get up and leave isn’t far from his thoughts. She wouldn’t be the first: years ago a solitary woman called Emma Beswick left her cottage nearby and never came back. Her disappearance went unaccounted for, and the unresolved case always irked DCI Hannah Scarlett. Someone knows something though; someone who keeps calling the local newspaper and dropping hints about Emma’s death. With the case reopened, Hannah and Daniel are drawn together again, and discover that one person will preserve the secrets of the past, whatever the cost.

My take: The Arsenic Labyrinth is the third entry in Martin Edward’s Lake District series featuring DCI Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind. When the story opens it is the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of  Emma Bestwick. A local newspaper wonders What happened to Emma Bestwick? This article alone would not have triggered the reopening of the case, but the journalist who wrote the article begins receiving anonymous phone calls from someone who seems to know something about this case and DCI Hannah Scarlett, as Head of the Cold Case Unit, takes over the investigation. At one point, the anonymous caller suggests that Emma could have been buried in an old mining settlement known as the Arsenic Labyrinth, but to everyone’s surprise, they find two bodies buried in that remote location. We find ourselves with a classic-style detective novel that unfolds in a contemporary setting. The plot, although relatively complex, is perfectly crafted. The story is also nicely rooted in a rural community and has a good sense of place. The characterisation is excellent and it has an extremely interesting ending. All in all a captivating reading. Though it is part of a series, it works very well as a standalone novel. I’m looking forward to reading soon The Serpent Pool, the fourth instalment in the series.

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

About the author: Martin Edwards is an award-winning crime writer. His first novel, All the Lonely People, introduced Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin and was published in 1991, earning a nomination for the John Creasey Dagger for best first crime novel of the year. In 2012 the book was republished by Arcturus in its series of Crime Classics, while Yesterday’s Papers was reissued as an Arcturus Crime Classic in 2013. To date, Edwards has written eight novels about Devlin; the most recent is Waterloo Sunset. The Coffin Trail was the first of seven books set in the Lake District (The Lake District Mysteries) featuring Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind; it was short-listed for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for best crime novel of 2006. The Arsenic Labyrinth was short-listed for the Lakeland Book of the Year Award in 2008. The Hanging Woods was long-listed for both the Audible Sounds of Crime Award and the Ebook Award at Crimefest 2012. The Dungeon House , the latest Lake District Mystery was published in 2015. Edwards has also published two stand-alone novels, the psychological suspense novel Take My Breath Away, and the critically acclaimed Dancing for the Hangman, a historical crime novel based on the Crippen case.

My reviews of the first two books in the series are available here and here.

The Arsenic Labyrinth has been reviewed at Euro Crime (Karen), Euro Crime (Maxine), Crime Scraps Review (Norman), Books Please (Margaret), Reactions to Reading (Bernadette), Mysteries in Paradise (Kerrie), In Search of the Classical Mystery Novel (Puzzle Doctor), and reviewingtheevidence among others.

Allison & Busby publicity page

Poisoned Press publicity page

Martin Edwards Website

Martin Edwards’ Crime Writing Blog

The Arsenic Labyrinth (El laberinto de arsénico) de Martin Edwards

Sinopsis: El historiador Daniel Kind encuentra difíciles los meses de invierno en Brackdale, especialmente cuando su relación con Miranda también está pasando por un momento difícil. Lejos de las brillantes luces de Londres y con las reformas retrasadas y por encima de lo presupuestado, Miranda tiene un ataque agudo de inquietud. El miedo a que  ella se pueda levantar e irse no está lejos de sus pensamientos. No sería la primera: hace años una mujer solitaria llamada Emma Beswick dejó su chalet en el campo cerca de allí y nunca regresó. Su desaparición continúa sin explicación, y el caso pendiente siempre irritó a la DCI Hannah Scarlett. Sin embargo, alguien sabe algo; alguien que continúa llamando al periódico local y dejando pistas sobre la muerte de Emma. Con la reapertura del caso, Hannah y Daniel se vuelven a reunir de nuevo, y descubren que una persona está dispuesta a guardar los secretos del pasado, a cualquier coste.

Mi opinión: The Arsenic Labyrinth es la tercera entrada de la serie The Lake District de Martin Edward con la inspectora de policía Hannah Scarlett y el historiador Daniel Kind. Cuando la historia comienza es el décimo aniversario de la desaparicion de Emma Bestwick. Un periódico local se pregunta ¿Qué pasó con Emma Bestwick? Este artículo por sí solo no habría desencadenado la reapertura del caso, pero el periodista que escribió el artículo comienza a recibir llamadas telefónicas anónimas de alguien que parece saber algo sobre este caso y la inspectora Hannah Scarlett, como Jefe de la Unidad de Casos Pendientes, se hace cargo la investigación. En un momento dado, la llamada anónima sugiere que Emma podría haber sido enterrada en un antiguo asentamiento minero conocido como el laberinto de arsénico, pero para sorpresa de todos, se encuentran dos cuerpos enterrados en ese lugar remoto. Nos encontramos con una novela policíaca de estilo clásico que se desarrolla en un entorno contemporáneo. La trama, aunque relativamente compleja, está perfectamente elaborada. La historia también está muy bien arraigada en una comunidad rural y tiene un buen sentido del lugar. La caracterización es excelente y tiene un final muy interesante. En suma, una lectura fascinante. A pesar de que es parte de una serie, funciona muy bien como una novela independiente. Estoy deseando leer pronto The Serpent Pool, la cuarta entrega de la serie.

Mi calificación: A + (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Sobre el autor: Martin Edwards es un galardonado escritor de novela policíaca. Su primera novela, All the Lonely People, nos dio a conocer al abogado de Liverpool Harry Devlin y se publicó en 1991, ganando una nominación para el John Creasey Dagger a la mejor novela novel negra del año. En el 2012 el libro fue reeditado por Arcturus en su serie de obras clásicas del crimen, mientras que Yesterday’s Papers fue reeditado como un Arcturus Crime Classic en el 2013. Hasta la fecha, Edwards ha escrito ocho novelas sobre Devlin; la más reciente es Waterloo Sunset. The Coffin Trail fue el primero de siete libros que forman la serie del Lake District protagonizada por la inspectora Hannah Scarlett y el historiador Daniel Kind; fue seleccionada al Theakston’s Old Peculier Award a la mejor novela negra del 2006. The Arsenic Labyrinth fue finalista tanto para el Lakeland Book of the Year Award del 2008. The Hanging Woods fue seleccionada tanto para el Audible Sounds of Crime Award como para el Ebook Award en el Festival Crimefest del 2012. The Dungeon House , el último misterio de la serie Lake District fue publicado en el 2015. Edwards también ha publicado dos novelas independientes, la novela de suspense psicológico Take My Breath Away, y la muy apreciada Dancing for the Hangman, una novela policíaca histórica basada en el caso Crippen.

OT: Enate Gewürztraminer 2015

  • movil 149Winery: Bodegas Viñedos y Crianzas del Alto Aragón (Enate) Avenida de las Artes, 1 – 22314 SALAS BAJAS (Huesca – España – Spain). Viñedos y Crianzas del Alto Aragón (Enate) was founded in 1991 with the goal to produce high-quality wine in the Somontano appellation, and it harvested its first grapes in 1992. The winery also has a strong link to contemporary art: the building itself is an architectural piece of art, including the decoration of the inner spaces. The commitment and love of art is reflected in the wines’ labels, which are reproductions from contemporary artists’ paintings. Its peculiar label has been designed by Vicente Badenes.
  • Phone: +34 974 30 25 80
  • Winemaker: Jesús Artajona Serrano
  • Website: www.enate.es
  • Brand: Enate Gewürztraminer
  • DO: Somontano
  • Type: Young White Wine (unoaked)  Enate was one of the first wineries in Spain to produce a varietal wine entirely made from Gewürztraminer, a grape variety that takes its name from its place of origin, the town of Tramin in South Tyrol.
  • Vintage: 2015
  • Alcohol: 14.5%
  • Grape Variety: 100% Gewürztraminer
  • Vineyards:  Perfectly adapted to the Aragonese region of Somontano, the vines used to produce this Spanish white wine grow at an altitude over 400 metres above sea level. Climate is harsh, tempered only by some scarce Mediterranean breezes. Handpicked at an optimal ripening state, the grapes were destemmed, slightly crushed and cold-soaked for 5 hours. Then they were fully crushed by pneumatic press, after which the resulting wine juice was drawn off and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Finally, Enate Gewürztraminer 2015 was clarified and filtered before its bottling.
  • Soil Type: very permeable soils, with great drainage capacity and poor in organic matter.
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: Available at 8.75 €, at my local grocery store.
  • My wine rating: 89/100 (A wine of very good to excellent quality) NEW!

Crime Wave (1954, filmed 1952) Directed by André De Toth

Every month on Past Offences Rich Westwood  gathers together blog posts about crime fiction written or filmed in a particular year. He has called it Crimes of the Century. Kate from crossexaminingcrime has suggested 1954 for August 2016.

If only I could find a decent copy, I would like to watch Crime Wave, a 1954 film, shot in 1952, and directed by André De Toth.

You can read an excellent review at Film Noir of the Week here.

The International Dagger Shortlist

The International Dagger, for crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK, has been announced:

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango translated by Imogen Taylor, published by Simon & Schuster

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaître translated by Frank Wynne, published by MacLehose Press

Icarus by Deon Meyer translated by K L Seegers, published by Hodder & Stoughton

The Murderer in Ruins by Cay Rademacher translated by Peter Millar, published by Arcadia

Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davis, published by Quercus

Am afraid I’ve not read any yet but have three in my whish list, the Lemaitre, Meyer and Yokohama.