Book: The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong - Volume 2 by Martin Daleycategories: Book, Cosy Crime, Edwardian England, Victorian England, Kaiser Wilhelm, Lowther Castle, Lord Lonsdale, Horse Racing Fix, Carlisle, Cumberland, Armstrong, River Eden, Detective Fiction
Martin Daleyabout this book: Welcome to the cosy yet criminal world of Detective Inspector Cornelius Armstrong, a policeman in Edwardian Carlisle (a city in the north of England). Inspired originally by the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, readers of Holmes may spot the odd homage to the Great Consulting Detective.
The other great inspiration behind the Armstrong stories is my home city itself, which – given that Armstrong doesn't have the archetypal Watson / Hastings assistant – takes on the role of the main secondary character. In fact it could be viewed that chapters of the area's two-thousand year history are being told through Armstrong's adventures. For example in this volume, as the cover suggests, the Inspector investigates The Bells and Plate Fix and The Kaiser's Assassin (each volume contains two short novels).
The first refers to the Carlisle Racing Bells and the Cumberland Plate, two of the oldest horse races in England, dating back to the reign of Elizabeth I. The case begins with Armstrong investigating the death of a bookie's clerk; it gradually develops into a trans-Atlantic investigation and a race to trap one of America's most notorious fraudsters – a race that almost costs Cornelius his life.
The Kaiser's Assassin meanwhile was inspired by Kaiser Wilhelm and his friend with Lord Lonsdale, whose estate is in the heart of the Lake District. The Kaiser visited his friend on more than one occasion before World War I and on one such visit in 1912, Inspector Armstrong is inadvertently drawn into an investigation that must see him foil a plot to assassinate the German King.
If you like escaping the hubbub of 21st century life to immerse yourself in late Victorian / Edwardian adventures, I hope you enjoy this journey back in time to meet a character and a setting you may hitherto be unfamiliar with.
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• Book Review: The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong - Volume I by Martin Daley|
• Book Review: The Casebook of Inspector Armstrong - Volume 3 by Martin Daley|
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