Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgic, crime-fictions, Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder, which are the first two mysteries in Peter Bartram’s Crampton of the Chronicle series. When my reading mojo returned in mid-September, with autumn just round the corner, it seemed the perfect time to pick up the next book in the series, Front Page Murder.
In Front Page Murder, we re-join Colin Crampton, ace crime reporter for the Brighton Evening Chronicle, in the winter of 1963, as he races against the clock to prove the innocence of postcard artist, Archie Flowerdew before he hangs on Christmas day! Archie is accused of murdering rival, satirical artist, Percy Despart with a 2B pencil. Archie’s niece Tammy is convinced he’s innocent and persuades Colin to investigate, however the more he digs, the more it looks like Archie is guilty. Soon though Colin realises he is in too deep to stop, as his job, reputation and a man’s life is on the line.
What unravels is another very British murder mystery, with twists, turns, colourful characters and a good dash of humour too. All set in Brighton during the swinging sixties, which Bartram brilliant evokes with its classic cars, fashion, music, food and smoky pubs! All of which reminded me of my two favourite TV crime dramas, Endeavour and Inspector George Gently. Also Bartram realistically brings alive the world of 1960s crime reporting too, with the smoky, bustling newsroom, ringing phones and clicking typewriters, and good, old-fashioned leg work and searching through the archives.
Then we have our protagonist, Colin Crampton, a dedicated – if rather cocky – local reporter. Who is always willing to go the miles, risking life and limb to finally solve the mystery and get his story! I have admit I have grown rather fond of our reporter, whose cheeky, chappy personality also lends a lighter tone to the darker, edgier elements of murder and crime. His latest adventure also shows how well he is loved and respected by his colleagues at the paper, as well as by his very understanding girlfriend, Shirley. All of whom are willing to try to help him save his job and a man’s life; even if it means breaking the law themselves in the process.
All in all, I thought Front Page Murder was another fast-paced, page-turning murder mystery, with a likeable protagonist and a great setting. I very much look forward to reading more from this series – I already have the next two books: The Mother’s Day Mystery and The Comedy Club lined-up on my Kindle ready to read. Good read.
Thank you to the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Tell me, have you read this? Or any other books set in the colourful city of Brighton?
This is book #1 for the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XIV reading challenge.