A Dead Man in Tangier
A Seymour of Scotland Yard Mystery by Michael Pearce
Review: A Dead Man in Tangier is the fourth mystery in this series by Michael Pearce to feature Sandor Seymour of the Special Branch of the Scotland Yard Foreign Office. It takes place in 1912 just after Morocco was decreed to be a protectorate of France.
It is a Frenchman, one Monsieur Bossu, an official with an international committee in Tangier, who has been murdered while pig-sticking, a sport of dubious merits. Seymour is brought in as an independent, and politically neutral, consultant to investigate the crime. He takes a sophisticated approach to solving this crime and through careful observation and methodical questioning, Seymour arrives at the only possible solution to the crime, all the while navigating a fluid bureaucracy and prudently avoiding a series of political landmines that lie in his path.
Much of the appeal of A Dead Man in Tangier is how Pearce captures the substance of this exotic region and succinctly instills in his narrative and characters its very essence. The author also manages to convey the political sensitivities of Tangier at the time this story takes place without being overly burdensome. The solution to the murder is simple yet elegantly presented, in many ways reflecting the book as a whole.
Michael Pearce is also the author of another series, the Mamur Zapt mysteries, set in Egypt during this same time period. It's difficult not to compare the two, but the Seymour of the Special Branch series seem to be a bit more atmospheric and refined. Not necessarily better, but different … in a good way.
Acknowledgment: Da Capo Press provided a copy of A Dead Man in Tangier for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Mark of the Pasha
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), May 2008
ISBN-13: 9781590584446; ISBN-10: 1590584449
Location(s) referenced in A Dead Man in Tangier: Tangier, Morocco
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A Dead Man in Tangier by Michael Pearce — A Seymour of Scotland Yard Mystery
Publisher: Carroll & Graf
Publication Date: September 2007
List Price: $24.99