UK Publishing Date: 6 Jun 2014. 258 Pages.
The Haunting of Melmerby Manor is the first in David Robinson’s Spookies series. Lady Concepta Rand-Epping, affectionately known as Sceptre, teams up with ex policeman Pete and a rather dodgy computer expert called Kevin and advertise their services for paranormal investigations.
It has taken me quite a long time to read a relatively short book and I don’t really know why I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe it’s because “Melmerby Manor” doesn’t really know what it is trying to do. Dabbling with the ghost stories and a good chunk of detective work with a side order of romance and it all becomes a bit confusing. Much like the TV adaptation of the Agatha Raisin books last year, the humour and the puns just become a little tedious.
The main characters have a lot of mileage. Sceptre has an interesting history as a member of the aristocracy reduced to working for a living. Pete is a very heavy handed ex policeman who relies on fear and intimidation to get his information but is really soft as butter. Kevin is the overweight IT geek with a flatulence problem and a desire to please Sceptre. I really liked Fishwick, the valet to the Rand-Epping family who had been killed at the battle of the Somme. The collection of ne’re do well villains from the local village all felt a bit clichéd and more suited to an episode of Minder than this book.
It’s a fun read and the story is quite entertaining but I really wanted it to be more of a mystery than it actually was. I’d happily give book 2 a read to see if they get a bit more bite. This was less Enfield Haunting and more Scooby Doo.
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can find the book here:
The Haunting of Melmerby Manor (#1 Spookies Mystery) (Spookies Mystery Series)
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.