February 22nd, 2013

An Unfamiliar Murder – Book Review

Enjoyment is not the word for this debut effort by mystery author Jane Isaac. I loved it. The chief detective in charge, Helen Lavery, has to deal not only with unraveling a particularly tricky murder case, but also office politics and troubles at home as well. This makes for a richly constructed tapestry of events and emotions playing out against a modern English murder mystery backdrop.

Our story begins when Anna Cottrell, a young school teacher, walks into her flat, sensing something amiss, and discovers a dead body covered with blood. The fact that the corpse has been dragged up into a sitting position facing the only door to the room, meaning it will be staring at her when she walks in, leaves her even more profoundly shocked.

Folks, this book is so intricately plotted, I doubt even the most hardboiled mystery readers would guess the identity of the killer. Without giving anything away, it gave me great satisfaction to see how Inspector Lavery went about solving the murder, managing her office politics and achieving some semblance of harmony at home all at about the same time.

Bring another cup of tea. Turn up the light. If you’re looking for a good mystery, An Unfamiliar Murder by Jane Isaac should do it for you, now get right on it.


Frederick Lee Brooke launched the Annie Ogden Mystery Series in 2011 with Doing Max Vinyl and followed with Zombie Candy in 2012, a book that is neither about zombies nor sweets. The third mystery in the series, Collateral Damage, appeared in 2013. Saving Raine, the first book in Fred's entirely new series, The Drone Wars, appeared in December 2013, and was followed by its sequel, Inferno, in June 2014.

A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.

When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.

Latest posts by Fred (see all)

2 thoughts on “An Unfamiliar Murder – Book Review

    1. Fred Post author

      Yes I did, and I’m wondering if we’re going to see Chief Inspector Helen Lavery again? That would be a pleasure.

Comments are closed.