Not My Blood
Review: It is the mid-winter of 1933 when Joe Sandilands, an Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, receives a call from the 9-year-old son of close family friends, who insists he urgently needs the assistance of his "Uncle Joe" in Not My Blood, the tenth mystery in this series by Barbara Cleverly.
Jackie Drummond is attending the exclusive St. Magnus School in Sussex and has gotten himself in a bit of trouble. Standing up for one of his friends, who was verbally abused by his teacher, Mr. Rapson, Jackie doubles up his fist, hits him in the stomach, and leaves. Fearing he would be beaten himself, or worse, sent away like some of the other boys, he runs away from the school. Joe meets Jackie and takes him back, only to discover that Edgar Rapson has been murdered, stabbed three times. His death opens the door for Joe and the other officials investigating the case to look into something else young Jackie mentioned, and apparently Rapson had been looking into himself: boys being sent away from the school over the past ten years. Indeed, not only were they sent away, they were never heard from again. What troubles Joe the most about the situation is that their families never reported them missing. Is Rapson's murder related to the missing boys? And might Jackie be the next to disappear?
This solidly plotted mystery contrasts the character strengths of Joe Sandilands, Dorcas Joliffe, a young woman with a degree in Psychology, and others involved in the investigation with the barbaric conduct of teachers, politicians, and even some parents. Crimes against children are never easy to read about, but those done under the guise of "protecting" them seem particularly atrocious. The academic setting in the rural countryside provides an atmospheric backdrop to the story, a singularly strong one indeed in this terrific series.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Not My Blood.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Not My Blood for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Blood Royal
Soho Constable (Hardcover), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569479872; ISBN-10: 1569479879
A Spider in the Cup
Soho Crime (Hardcover), August 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616952884; ISBN-10: 1616952881
Location(s) referenced in Not My Blood: Sussex, England
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Not My Blood by Barbara Cleverly — A Joe Sandilands Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: August 2012
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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