The Case of the Famished Parson

Dr. James Macintosh, the Bishop of Greyle, was a mysterious man; for a long time, nobody even knew his last name. But things take a turn for the bizarre when his body is found emaciated and battered having being pushed face-first off the edge of a cliff…

Inspector Littlejohn faces an incredibly peculiar case. How to explain the savage murder of a gentle Bishop? Did he know too much about the secretive citizens of Cape Marvin, the seaside resort of his murder? Or did the reason have something to do with the strange family he had left behind in Medhope?

Above all, why was the Bishop’s body so undernourished that death by violence won out by only a few days over death by starvation?

Although most people automatically have PD James as their go to British Crime Mystery author of note, George Bellairs deserve some of that love as he is a sorely underappreciated writer from a bygone era of greatness in literature. He was quite prolific and could write detailed, realistic stories that pulled you into the time and settings of his crimes.

 This book was perfectly Bellairs and showed off his shattering talent with a well-written and expertly plotted mysterious narrative. There are his classic touches of humor, his charming and eloquent word choices, and of course his intricately complex and well-developed characters.

 Along with his perfectly written personalities, Bellairs knew how to write settings that provided such vivid imagery you felt you were walking alongside his characters as you saw the world around them through their eyes.

 His plot provided plenty of red herrings alongside the real clues so it won’t be overly difficult to spot the Big Bad of the story which still offered up plenty of twists on the silver platter of crime lit. The beauty of Bellairs is you can rely on him to provide a view, a portal in time if you will, of how mystery and crime used to be written when humanity didn’t need graphic blood and gore to be entertained.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Ipso Books for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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