Murder at Madame Tussauds (Museum Mysteries 6)

Written by Jim Eldridge
Review by Douglas Kemp

London in the autumn of 1896, and private detectives Daniel Wilson and Abigail Fenton are back for their sixth adventure. After a previous episode’s excursion to Manchester, they have returned to their home turf of London and are involved in the case of the decapitation of Eric Dudgeon, one of the nightwatchmen at Madame Tussaud’s waxwork museum, with the disappearance of his work colleague and good friend, Walter Bagshot, seemingly pointing to the latter’s guilt. With their growing reputation, Daniel and Abigail are called in by the authorities at the waxworks museum to investigate further as the Metropolitan Police have other more pressing cases to examine, and to make matters more difficult, the two private detectives have been frozen out by their enemy at Scotland Yard, Superintendent Armstrong, who is jealous of their ability to solve crimes that the police seem unable to tackle. The police are under pressure to solve several raids on banks’ security boxes, with a number of high-profile victims losing valuables and sensitive documents. Daniel makes a possible connection between the two seemingly separate series of crimes. The writer Arthur Conan Doyle plays a role in the narrative, asking Abigail to lead an archaeological expedition he plans to finance in Egypt.

Like all the other books in the series, this is an eminently readable story, with an engaging and well-paced plot. There is a lot of historical detail, although occasionally just a little too much of the lecture comes through, which sits a little awkwardly with the narrative thread.