KIMBERLY - CAFFEINATED REVIEWER
REVIEW OF SHAMUS DUST
A RICH MURDER MYSTERY THAT WAS ENGAGING, CLEVER AND WELL-HONED
I am always looking for something a little different when I make my selections for the HoHoHo Readathon (Caffeinated Reviewer). Some years I slip in a horror but this year, Shamus Dust by Janet Roger crossed my desk. A murder-mystery that begins in the wee hours of Christmas morning.
shamus noun. Slang. – a detective.
It’s Christmas Morning 1947, post war in the city of London when American PI, Newman receives a phone call from Councillor Drake, asking him to take keys to one of his properties to DI McAlester and to discreetly discover the nature of the police investigation.
Newman arrives at a murder scene located on the stoop of a church adjacent to the Councillor’s apartment buildings. He soon discovers the victim, Raymond Jarrett is a tenant. One who was blackmailing the privileged. He apparently liked to spend time photographing young men.
The body was discovered by Nurse Greer. Her account doesn’t quite add up and soon Newman finds himself follow clues… but the more he investigates the more bodies keep turning up. He isn’t looking so good himself as someone tries to warn him off the case.
Do you read in color? I read the entire book in black and white. What a gem. If you like hardboiled detective movies, Classic Noir with corruptions, twists, dirty cops, and clever detectives you’ll want to grab Shamus Dust.
From the descriptions of worn-torn London to the trail of clues, characters and twists I found it all rather addictive. It’s a meaty story and meant to be read slowly. I only managed a few chapters an evening. Could it have been less descriptive? Perhaps, but I appreciated being pulled completely back in time. It was like stepping into an old black and white film.
I knocked a half-star off because a few terms jumped out at me that didn’t feel authentic to the period and they Americanized a few words. I prefer terms, spelling and language to be appropriate to the period/place in which the book is set.
Secondary characters from suspects to the police medical examiner added to the tale. For a debut novel the murder(s) and journey to the conclusion were well crafted, believable and well played. The author kept me guessing and had me smiling as all was revealed.
Shamus Dust delivered a rich murder mystery that was engaging, clever and well-honed. It’s a gem just waiting to be discovered.
You can order your copy of SHAMUS DUST here;