Author: Charlie Cochrane
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.
Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
Josie Goodreads’s View:
It’s always a pleasure to read a book by Charlie Cochrane and The Best Corpse for the Job is no exception. It’s a very enjoyable and puzzling English murder mystery with a whodunit that kept me guessing to the very end.
Adam Matthews is a teacher at St Crispin’s primary school in Lindenshaw, an idyllic English county village where everything is not all that it seems. Adam takes part in the recruitment interviews for the next Headteacher (Headmaster for those old enough not to be politically correct) and during a break in the interviews one of the candidates, Mr. Ian Youngs, is found murdered. In the children’s kitchen no less! The school tried once before to recruit a new Headteacher but they failed for reasons that are initially hushed up, but does that failure have anything to do with why Mr. Young’s was murdered?
Inspector Robin Bright, a former pupil of St Crispin’s, is not at all happy to be back walking its halls again, he was bullied while at the school and those are memories that linger on. The only bright spot in the case is the attraction he feels towards Adam, who while being interviewed accidentally let it drop that he was gay. Robin knows he shouldn’t fraternize with Adam, it’s the worst thing he could do and he’ll be in serious trouble if his superiors find out, but he’s drawn to Adam and gradually their initial friendship develops into something that could run much deeper if Robin could only find the killer
To me The Best Corpse for the Job is a story of two halves. The first half is the murder mystery, a baffling who-done-it with so many twists and turns that I honestly didn’t have a clue right up to the end. All the characters seem to have secrets to hide, from old fashioned governor Oliver Narraway, Sandra Duncan, one of the applicants for the Headteacher job and let’s not forget downtrodden Marjorie Bookham whose husband would make anyone commit murder.
The other half of the story is the slowly developing relationship between Robin and Adam. This is taken very slowly, after all Robin is investigating a murder, so don’t expect any shenanigans between the sheets, this isn’t that type of story, but the relationship is sensitively and realistically developed. Robin comes across as a sensitive and thoughtful man, he’s haunted by the bullying he endured as a youngster at St Crispin’s, and he comes across as a bit lonely. As much as he knows he has to stay away from Adam until the murderer is caught finds he just can’t. Adam is attracted to Robin from the moment they meet but he spends a fair portion of the beginning of the book being tongue tied around the man, which was quite sweet. He’s very much dependable and reliable, the calm in Robin’s storm. And of course Adam’s dog Campbell falls under Robin’s spell, which I adored, there’s nothing like bringing a dog into the story to soften any readers heart, and Campbell was particularly lovely and ultimately very important.
The plot reminded me very much of an episode of Lewis (a British detective drama for those unfamiliar) it doesn’t have the glitz and glamor of Hollywood shootouts or tense standoffs, well it does actually, the standoff bit, but it’s a solid intricate puzzling and quite perplexing mystery which kept me wondering who the killer was to the very end. It was well thought-out, the pacing was good and the cast assembled was perfect. I can only hope Charlie Cochrane visits Lindenshaw again as I’d love to catch up with Robin and Adam further down the line.
Highly recommended for anyone who likes a story that keeps them guessing, and a plot to make them think.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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