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A Sergeant Cribb Investigation by Peter Lovesey

Abracadaver by Peter Lovesey

Review: Sergeant Cribb is assigned to look into mischief taking place at entertainment halls in Victorian London in Abracadaver, the third mystery in this series by Peter Lovesey. This novel was originally published in 1972, and now available in a new trade paperback edition by Soho Press.

Sergeant Cribb fears the incidents, all relatively minor in nature so far, will escalate into something more serious when he receives a playbill with the following words circled: "Sensational" Hatchet Thrower, Jason Buckmaster "Tragedy" Actor and Rhetorician, Grampian in Blackfriars Road "Tonight" — Sensational Tragedy Tonight. Cribb and his partner Constable Thackery believe they have the answer but then another crime is committed, this time murder. Together, the detectives set a trap that they hope will ensnare the killer before another death occurs.

The relatively short books in this series are all about crime and resolution. There isn't a lot of action, nor are they brimming with "edge of your seat" thrills, and they are largely free of the cumbersome backstories that typically weigh down modern murder mysteries. Rather, they include cleverly devised plots that often rely on deduction and reasoning to expose the culprit. True, the situations in which the detectives, especially Thackery, find themselves are somewhat amusing, but never at the expense of a story well told. Abracadaver is a terrific example of the series, and one worth seeking out.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of Abracadaver for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: The Detective Wore Silk Drawers by Peter LoveseyThe Detective Wore Silk Drawers
Soho Constable (Trade Paperback), October 2008
ISBN-13: 9781569475249; ISBN-10: 1569475245

Mystery Book Review: Skeleton Hill by Peter LoveseySkeleton Hill
Soho Press (Hardcover), September 2009
ISBN-13: 9781569475980; ISBN-10: 1569475989

Location(s) referenced in Abracadaver: London, England

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Abracadaver by Peter Lovesey

Abracadaver by A Sergeant Cribb Investigation

Publisher: Soho Constable
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-561-4
Publication Date:
List Price: $14.00

Buy the Book (purchase options)

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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

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