Catherine Aird Bibliography Examples

This locked room mystery comes at the suggestion of JJ, author-in-chief of The Invisible Event, for which many thanks (I think). Its central conundrum is certainly an absolute doozy: how can a murderer flee a room in which the only exit is blocked by an immovable piece of stonemasonry? Told in a light, breezy style, this is a cosy mystery that refuses to take itself seriously and which would make a great episode of the Midsomer Murders TV series. We begin on a hot July day …

I submit this review for Bev’s 2016 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt; and Patti Abbott’s Friday’s Forgotten Books meme over at her fab Pattinase blog.

“If, Crosby,” said Sloan letting out a long sigh, “you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning, that’s all.”

Set in the fictional county of Calleshire, the case involves the disappearance of the recently widowed Richard Mallory Tindall, and with him a top secret report from his R&D company. When a body is found inside a church tower, crushed by a huge statue known as the ‘Fitton Bequest’ that is blocking the only exit, the question is: who knocked out the man before topping the statue on to him and how did they escape from the sealed room? And why kill the man in such an elaborate fashion? And who stood to gain – his daughter, Fenella? Her Italian boyfriend, Giuseppe? What about the report for United Mellemetics that has gone missing? And what about the man who wanted to buy Tindall’s company? And for whom did the dead man buy an expensive pair of jade and diamond clips? And then there is a second murder …

The Superintendent groaned irritably. “Not another of those locked room mysteries, Sloan, I hope. I can’t stand them either.”

The case is investigated by Detective Inspector Christopher Dennis Sloan, Aird’s long-running protagonist who manages to solve crimes despite the annoying interventions of his boss, Superintendent Leeyes, and Crosby, his very dim constable. The basic puzzle is pretty good but the novel is relentlessly padded out with one red herring after another, with most of the subsidiary plotlines proving to have nothing at all to do with the central mystery. It is just as well then that the dialogue is often amusing and the elaborate solution also proves satisfying, though it is built on an incredibly risky plan that could have failed incredibly easily. Good fun and jolly overall, but at 200 pages, really little more than a padded out novella.

Like a sticky snail, the Superintendent strewed a trail of imperfectly assimilated concepts behind him: not only did they show where he had been but they were a nuisance to the unwary.

The Chronicles of Calleshire featuring Inspector Sloan

  1. The Religious Body (1966)
  2. Henrietta Who (1968)
  3. The Complete Steel (1969) [aka The Stately Home Murder]
  4. A Late Phoenix (1970)
  5. His Burial Too (1973)
  6. Slight Mourning (1975)
  7. Parting Breath (1977)
  8. Some Die Eloquent (1979)
  9. Passing Strange (1980)
  10. Last Respects (1982)
  11. Harm’s Way (1984)
  12. A Dead Liberty (1986)
  13. The Body Politic (1990)
  14. A Going Concern (1993)
  15. Injury Time (1994)
  16. After Effects (1996)
  17. Stiff News (1998)
  18. Little Knell (2001)
  19. Amendment of Life (2003)
  20. Chapter and Hearse (2004)
  21. A Hole in One (2005)
  22. Losing Ground (2007)
  23. Past Tense (2010)
  24. Dead Heading (2014)

For more information about Aird and her books, visit:

I submit this review for Bev’s 2016 Silver Age Vintage Mystery Scavenger Hunt in the ‘bird’ category:


***** (2.5 fedora tips out of 5)

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Hole in One

Catherine Aird, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-34229-6
Fans have waited two years for another of Aird's Calleshire County police procedurals, and if you like golf, this well-crafted whodunit was especially worth the wait. ""Seedy"" Sloan and his trip-over-the-truth sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby, tramp over hill and sand trap in search of the killer of an unknown male found buried behind the sixth green at the Berebury Golf Club. Eventually, they identify the victim as a likable young caddie who was dating the daughter of a member bidding on some land the club was planning to sell. Along the way, Sloan, who prefers roses, learns more than he cares to about golf: the history of the game, the names of each club, the lingo (a beginner is called a ""rabbit""), even the origin of the term ""links."" Full of poetical, biblical and Shakespearian references, this fun read delivers a denouement that finishes the game well under par. Nicely played.
Reviewed on: 08/01/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4668-2073-9
Open Ebook - 978-1-322-39000-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7927-4084-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-3777-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7927-3776-6
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-7490-8292-5


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