Title: Stop Press Murder (A Crampton of the Chronicle Mystery, Book Two)
Author: Peter Bartram
Publisher: Roundfire Books, 320pgs
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery
Stop Press Murder is the second in the A Crampton of the Chronicle Mystery series by Peter Bartram. Set in 1960s Brighton, it follows crime reporter Colin Crampton as he tries to solve a theft, a murder and scoop his rival.
The story gets off to a quick start and doesn’t disappoint. From one fateful encounter to another, crime reporter Colin is ran off his feet as he tries to solve the murder, keep his editor off his back and stay one step ahead of his chief rival at the opposing newspaper.
Speaking of Colin, he’s a likeable and engaging protagonist. I found myself becoming more and more invested in the mystery because I wanted to see him succeed and trump the much hated Houghton from the Argus newspaper. I will say that a few of his conjectures took a bit of a leap of faith to follow, but I’m not against suspending belief a little with a well written cozy such as this one.
The accompanying cast of characters is what really made this mystery for me though. Bartram has a full set of quirky supporting characters that genuinely add to the story. The scenes set in the newspaper office were especially well done and entertaining, giving a reader a real feel of the mayhem and urgency surrounding making deadlines and getting the big story.
The pacing was good and the plot moved along well. There’s a little bit of everything going on from theft to murder to blackmail and more, but the different plot threads were woven together quite cleverly and in a way that was never confusing. I did guess at a part of the solution, but that’s part of the fun of these books, to try to solve along with the amateur sleuth.
While I enjoyed the setting, I did think that a bit more could have been done with the 1960s era. At times I felt like it could have been set in another time period nearly as easily. If there was a downside to this book, that was it. Nevertheless, the descriptions were good and did help set the overall mood of the novel.
In closing, this was an entertaining and fun novel, good for some light reading. I will definitely be looking for other books in this series.
Rating: 4/5 Carrots
Thanks to NetGalley for my copy of this book.