Read my review of Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons
November 1929. A woman’s dismembered corpse is discovered in a suitcase and police quickly identify her husband, Doctor Ibrahim Aziz, as their chief suspect. Incriminating evidence is discovered at his home and his wife was rumoured to be having an affair, giving him clear motive.
With his reputation for winning hopeless cases, barrister Arthur Skelton is asked to represent the accused. Though Aziz’s guilt does not seem to be in doubt, a question of diplomacy and misplaced larvae soon lead Skelton to suspect there may be more to the victim’s death.
Aided by his loyal clerk Edgar, Skelton soon finds himself seeking justice for both victim and defendant. But can he uncover the truth before an innocent man is put on trial and condemned to the gallows?
I love these books, they are smart, intelligent reads and this one might be even better than the first.
There’s more delightful letters from Skelton’s eccentric cousins, John and Norah, who I adored in the first book, there’s more Mina, Skelton’s excellent wife and lots more Edgar, his brilliant clerk. His team are a bit odd but they always solve the case, and Rose, who has now joined Duncan’s solicitors firm, is a fabulous detective, and is about to fall in love.
Skelton criss crosses the country representing the innocent and the not-so, while also attempting to unravel the truth about the body in the suitcase, if it is Mrs Aziz, who killed her? And if it isn’t, who is it?
There are funny bits and serious bits, some very modern concerns about prejudice, showing things like racism have always been with us, and Skelton knows it could cause Dr Aziz, a man he is sure is innocent, to lose his life anyway if put in front of a jury. How sad that a book set in 1929 shows such relevance to 2021.
But Skelton, ably assisted by his crack team of oddballs, will prevail, and help his dad find a retirement activity or two to fill his time, cheer Mina on with her new hobby, support Edgar through his own turmoil, solve a series of thefts and be back in time for the dinner Mrs Bartram has put on.
Simply put, I thought this was another marvellous adventure for Skelton and Co and cannot wait for the next one.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.