Blood from a Stone
In her latest 1920s mystery (after Trouble Brewing, 2012), Gordon-Smith keeps intrepid writer/investigator Jack Haldean busy with a grisly killing on a train, a trail of sapphires, and a “locked room” murder by poison. There are also missing persons, criminal or otherwise, who may be masquerading as each other. But when strangers appear on the scene unexpectedly, the real question is not one of identity but common sense: why would a sensible person trust any of them?
Gordon-Smith scatters just enough confusing information to distract the reader from the well-worn ground. How can a parure of sapphires be overlooked? Why can’t an ex-soldier handle a gun? Why doesn’t anyone think twice before venturing underground? Why aren’t fingerprints, no longer just a “nicety” as implied, used to close the case much earlier?
Not to worry. The aristocrats look down their noses at the hoi polloi, sip their sherry on time, and change to the appropriate clothing for each activity or time of day. Blood from a Stone is for readers who will enjoy the atmosphere without asking awkward questions.