Recently widowed Agnes Lockwood is spending a few days in Tyneside. Having spent some years of her childhood in Tyneside, she’s eagerly waiting to see what the old town has in store for her. A guest complains of someone stealing her jewelry. Soon, more robberies are reported.
Agnes meets her classmate Alan Johnson. He’s now the Chief Inspector of Tyneside. They go out for dinner one night and end up finding a dead body. Agnes recognizes the dead lady – she’s one of the guests at the hotel. Agnes wants to help Alan – after all, she’s a huge fan of the mystery classics and is curious-er than a cat.
Some of the reviewers on Goodreads and Amazon mention this book has an Agatha Christie feel to it and this was the only reason to read Murder on Tyneside. I am disappointed. The beginning of the story might give a slight Miss Marple-ish feeling to it but otherwise, nah. I cannot decide if this is a modern-day mystery or a Victorian mystery.
The pacing is slow, at times, it felt like a drag. The characters are, um, I will leave it to you to decide. Agnes is stubborn. She doesn’t take a no for an answer. She gives various speculative arguments about the case and coerces Alan to speak about the case during their dinner/date nights. It felt like the only reason she went with Alan for dinner is so that she can prod him for more information on the case.
Meanwhile, it is no surprise that Alan is a love-sick puppy. He agrees to Agnes’ speculations and doesn’t seem to have any ideas of his own about the case. This guy is the Chief Inspector, eh? He convinces himself that he’s pretty efficient but something’s changed after meeting Agnes.
NOTE: The next two paragraphs contain spoilers.
*Spoiler Starts* At around 60% through the story, another dead body is found. And this time, it takes Alan and Agnes to a pub owner. The guy recognizes the dead man as his cousin. He also says that the dead man’s brother was always interested in becoming a James Bond. He was so good at cracking codes and hacking and whatnot that he now works as a spy for the MI5. Have you heard of any ‘spy’ who reveals their job profile to family members?
Agnes coerces Alan to let her play bait. Alan agrees. There’s this guy who’s been following Agnes around town. The guy stays at the same hotel as Agnes. And this guy is the ‘spy. Agnes wants to talk to him and since he’s already been following her, it would be easy to meet him ‘accidentally’. I did not like this. Agnes is dominant, stubborn and doesn’t take a no for an answer. Not something I would like in a lead character. *End of Spoiler*
The story started well but fell flat at around 20% through. It picks up pace again in the latter half. Not very likeable characters and a twist that one might never see coming (See spoilers), Murder in Tyneside is an okay read. I did not find it captivating enough to follow the series though.
Writing Style: 3/5
Character Development: 2/5
Overall Rating: 2/5
Title: Murder on Tyneside(Agnes Lockwood Mysteries #1)
Author: Eileen Thornton
Published on: 30th December 2016
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads