Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book Review: Wobble to Death

Wobble to Death: A Sergeant Cribb Mystery
Peter Lovesey

Peter Lovesey has written a number of fair-to-middling mysteries. This is the first-published of his Victorian tales. The setting is absolutely first-rate, the pacing is good, the characterization is adequate to the purpose, and it is a fair-play puzzle ... but the ultimate reasoning that Sergeant Cribb uses is very, very tenuous. Much of the "investigation" section in the middle of the book is not ultimately very relevant--although the final sentence is a clever small twist.

Mildly recommended if you like historical fiction, and are less of a purist than I am about the logic-and-clues aspect of the detective story. If it's Victorian murder you're after, though, nobody can touch the incomparable Sherlock Holmes (at least at his best); modern worthies include the magnificent Steve Hockensmith and his Holmes on the Range series. There are several other well-known historical series out there, but I'm afraid I find most of them vastly overrated.

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