Maxwell's Point by M J Trow

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Maxwell's Point by M J Trow

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Peter Magee
Reviewed by Peter Magee
Summary: History teacher M J Trow provides another excellent mystery involving Peter 'Mad Max' Maxwell. It has an excellent plot, good characterisation and comes highly recommended by The Bookbag.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 360 Date: March 2008
Publisher: Allison and Busby
ISBN: 978-0749080396

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Peter 'Mad Max' Maxwell's girlfriend, D S Jacquie Carpenter, is now back at work after her maternity leave and it was sensible to hire an au pair to look after baby Nolan. Leighford is nothing like Menorca, certainly in terms of weather, but Juanita Reyes seems happy in the sleepy seaside town. Her English is improving and she's obviously very find of Nolan. Returning from school one afternoon Maxwell finds Nolan happy in his cot but there's no sign of Juanita. Meanwhile a couple of ramblers are surprised when a dog digs up an arm on Dead Man's Point.

Fans of M J Trow's 'Mad Max' books will be familiar with the school setting which is the basis for so many of the books – in fact so familiar that you can usually smell the chalk – but this book moves away from the school and into the local area. Some familiar characters occur – as usual Maxwell is one step ahead of the police in his enquiries and D C I Henry Hall finds him no less of a nuisance whilst needing to call on his help when his own enquiries reach a dead end.

Although the book isn't set in the school it's there as a very solid background. Trow is a teacher and many comments in the book reflect current issues within the education system and the politics of the staffroom. It's done with a light touch and was enlightening for someone whose schooldays are a distant memory. Trow has a very human touch too – recognising the incongruity of Maxwell having a young son when he's close to retirement and sometimes being asked if Nolan is his grandson. The characters are three-dimensional and it's easy to love and hate them in equal measures.

I enjoy crime novels although I would normally prefer to follow the police investigator rather than an amateur sleuth but I was impressed with this book. The plot is well-structured with twists along the way but it wasn't until very close to the end that I had even an inkling of the perpetrator. What seemed unlikely throughout the book produced a completely plausible ending. I'd never heard of M J Trow before I read this book, but I'm now in search of more books from the series.

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

If you do enjoy books which feature the amateur sleuth then you could well enjoy Blood at the Bookies by Simon Brett.

Buy Maxwell's Point by M J Trow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Maxwell's Point by M J Trow at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Maxwell's Point by M J Trow at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Maxwell's Point by M J Trow at Amazon.com.

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