Maxwell's Island by M J Trow

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Maxwell's Island by M J Trow

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Peter Magee
Reviewed by Peter Magee
Summary: It might be number sixteen in the series but it's still fresh and engaging. It's what long journeys were made for.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: January 2011
Publisher: Allison and Busby
ISBN: 978-0749008925

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Maxwell had never been intending to go to the Isle of Wight but when his colleague went sick at the last moment he volunteered to take her place on the school trip. His wife, Jacquie wasn't entirely convinced that this lived up to the family holiday they'd been planning, but she went along too. There were quite a few adults, as there have to be nowadays, including Medlicott, the new head of art, and his wife. Jacquie Maxwell feels that it's even less of a holiday for her when Medlicott's wife goes missing and she's forced to be the policewoman she'd hoped to leave at home.

Back home in West Sussex Tom Medlicott is found dead at the bottom of some stairs. Maxwell accidentally stumbles on the solution to the mystery, but there's a lot of money involved and whoever is at the bottom of this won't stop at one or two murders – or more. Is Maxwell going to live to enjoy the retirement which was so cruelly snatched from him not all that long ago?

With Peter 'Mad Max' Maxwell, you know exactly what you're getting. The school comes off the pages so vividly that you can smell that 'eau de school' which you never get anywhere else. M J Trow has a teaching background and the details are authentic. It's all there, in the very fabric of the story, rather than researched and bolted on. You get a good mystery with likeable characters, plenty of twists along the way and an ending that will have you scratching your head.

There have been a good few Maxwell books now and whilst not in the very top flight of crime novels they don't disappoint and keep a commendable freshness. Some people will find Maxwell irritating but it's balanced by a good story with a neat twist in the ending.

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We've enjoyed all the 'Mad Max' books but you might also enjoy Cold Rain by Craig Smith. We also liked Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt.

M J Trow's Peter Maxwell Books in Chronological Order

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