Publisher: Independently published
Pub date: 25 March 2021
A delicious 1940s mystery.
Birmingham, England, 1943.
While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights.
Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since.
But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over twenty-five years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.
I usually post reviews on a Friday but as it’s publication day for The Custard Corpses today I have chosen this weeks review to post today.
MJ Porter is one of my favourite authors, I adore The First Viking Age Series and have the rest of MJ’s books on my TBR list.
I was actually surprised when I saw MJ had emerged from the medieval ages and wrote a mystery based in the 1940’s. This book is definitely a change of era both for MJ and myself as a reader.
The story begins with Mason receiving a newspaper which could shed some light on the cold case that has tormented him for many years.
Armed with new information Mason finds himself on the trail of a possible serial killer. There are some great characters including Mason but also constable O’Rourke and Hamish who travels from Scotland to assist with the case as more and more links begin to appear. They all band together to solve the case that’s troubled so many families for years. The main characters find themselves at a loss, how have all these victims died of drowning but found on land and perfectly dressed? What is the significance in their placing?
I won’t give away the reason for the title as MJ has cleverly made it an intriguing part of the mystery. I also won’t spoil the outcome for anyone but I will say this was a great read, one of those books that you keep on reading even when you know you need to sleep because you just have to know what happens. I found myself continually asking who, why, how? There are a few grizzly bits but it is not a gruesome one, it is very very hard to put down though!
As mentioned this is so far out of MJ’s usual genre that I was apprehensive but it was brilliant, marking MJ out as an author of multiple genres.
I personally read a lot of historical fiction but if MJ chose to write another like this then I would certainly be adding it to my reading list.
If you enjoy mysteries with a great plot, likeable characters and a couple of twists then I’d highly recommend The Custard Corpses.
You can order your own copy now Amazon