Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Review of Corridors of Death by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Poison Pen Press, 2007; first pub 1982)
Corridors of Death is the first of the Robert Amiss mysteries and blends British establishment satire with crime fiction. For me the story was ‘Yes, Minister’ meets golden age British crime novel, a la Agatha Christie. Edwards keeps the storytelling light, engaging and witty, without undermining the mystery and the seriousness of the case. The labyrinth bureaucracy and petty personal politics of Whitehall is well depicted. And the characterisation of politicians, civil servants and family relations are nicely observed. The style is all show and no tell, and well paced, with the plot having a number of twists and feints. My only reservation was the denouement, which although plausible didn’t quite seem to ring true. Nevertheless, Corridors of Death is an engaging and entertaining read that I felt was ready made for adaptation to the small screen. I certainly intend to read other books in the series.