Tag Archives: L C Tyler

The Herring In The Library (Elsie and Ethelred Mystery #3)

The Herring In The Libraryby L C Tyler

It all begins with Elsie and Ethelred enjoying a quiet game of Cluedo. As usual, Elsie is cheating, making up the rules as she goes along, very much as she does in life. By contrast, Ethelred plays by the rules and loses out as a result. Although I don’t think that she believes that rules are made to be broken the are certainly optional and are to be overlooked if they become inconvenient. Elsie Thirkwttle is a literary agent and self-proclaimed chocoholic, a juggernaut of a woman who takes no prisoners when it comes to getting what and where she wants. 

Ethelred Tressider is one of Elsie’s long-suffering authors who seems to have little enthusiasm for his chosen profession. He has been fairly successful, publishing novels under several pseudonyms, but he dreams of one day doing something serious under his own name. Elsie is not so sure.

This is the third outing for this unlikely literary pair who have developed an uncanny habit of being in the wrong place at the right time. In this case, the Cluedo theme merges into their real lives following the mysterious death of Ethelred’s former school pal, Sir Robert Muntham at a dinner party at Muntham Hall.

As a crime writer, Ethelred is expected to use his skills to help solve the age-old “locked room” mystery. But, as those who have read the first two books will know, Ethelred’s grasp of simple police procedures and interview techniques are not as honed as one might expect.

The same cannot be said of Elsie who’s natural scepticism and bulldog approach find her unravelling the truth while Ethelred is still blundering around the dark alleyways the lovely Lady Muntham has lead him down. 

Not only is “The Herring In The Library” a very funny and enjoyable tale, there is also a nicely plotted murder mystery to follow. I particularly enjoy the way these books switch narrative between Ethelred and Elsie. Their polar opposite observations and opinions make the whole thing so much more enjoyable than seeing things from one point of view. These are very much about the pair, not the individuals.

And as a treat, we also get a glimpse for the first time of one of Ethelred’s recurring characters, Master Thomas, whose latest adventure bears an uncanny resemblance to the predicament he finds himself in at Munford Hall. All in all, another excellent outing for the odd couple of crime fiction. 

Ten Little Herrings (Elsie and Ethelred Mystery #2)

by L C Tyler

Ten Little HerringsWith more red herrings and plot twists than a box full of Agatha Christie’s, our bumbling duo find themselves once again at the heart of a murder mystery. 

For this, their second outing, crime writer Ethelred Tressider and his pushy agent Elsie Thirkettle, are temporarily relocated to the Loir Valley. Which is rather unexpected really as Ethelred was last seen boarding a plane that exploded mid-flight. Elsie has been doing all she can to settle his affairs when, out of the blue, she receives a phone call from the said deceased author asking for her help. The pair are reunited at a rather shabby little French hotel, just in time to become suspects in a murder. Who would have thought that stamp collecting could be so dangerous? 

Ten Little Herrings combines great comedy with a serious crime story. L C Tyler’s clever wit and talent for slapstick make this a very enjoyable read. This is the second book of the series and the characters of Ethelred – the serious and rather lazy writer – and Elsie – bombastic chocoholic – are now firmly established. I can’t wait to read more of their adventures.

 

The Herring Seller’s Apprentice (Elsie and Ethelred Mystery #1)

by L C Tyler

The Herring Seller's Apprentice

Sometimes, when browsing the shelves of a bookshop, a title leaps out and demands attention. This may seem a rather random way of selecting a book, but it has worked for me so many times that I am not going to give up on it just yet. “The Herring Seller’s Apprentice” is one of those titles that could go either of two ways: it was either going to be a deeply worthy piece of literature about the east coast fishing industry, or not. In this case, it is very much the latter.

The ‘herring seller’ referred to in the title is not a young man from Grimsby, but a crime writer called Ethelred Tressider. The phrase was coined by his ex-wife, Geraldine, due to the number of red herrings he puts into his Sergeant Fairfax series. 

His apprentice is a chocoholic, literature hating agent Elsie Thirkettle.

In what is a very amusing and well-written crime story, Ethelred and Elsie become amateur sleuths as they piece together the events leading up to the disappearance of Geraldine. And it seems that there is no shortage of suspects.

Geraldine was a force of nature and, as it turns out, a dab hand in the red herring market. As Ethelred and Elsie begin to unravel Geraldine’s mixed up personal and professional lives, Elsie begins to suspect that there is more to the mystery than meets the eye and that Ethelred knows more than he is letting on.

The Herring Seller’s Apprentice is a wonderfully amusing story. The main characters of Ethelred and Elsie are wonderfully portrayed, each telling their version of events in believable and very different styles. I felt drawn to the characters and their separate voices. This is the first book for some time that has left me chuckling out loud. 

An excellent debut novel.