Book: Death on the Scotland Express
Author: Fliss Chester
Pub Day: November 27, 2023
Buy Link: Amazon: https://geni.us/B0CF2FHC6Rsocial
Someone on board has a deadly destination in mind… can Cressida stop them before it’s too late?
After an eventful trip to the Scottish Highlands, Cressida Fawcett is looking forward to being back among her society friends in London. Enjoying an ice-cold martini in the lounge car of the express train, loyal pug Ruby on her lap, she’s ready to blow off some steam!
But Cressida’s hopes for a relaxing journey are dashed when a gunshot resounds through the carriages. Industrial tycoon Lewis Warriner has been shot dead in his cabin. And as this train has been racing through the countryside, the culprit must be among Cressy’s fellow passengers…
Teaming up with Detective Andrews of Scotland Yard, also on his way back to London, they work their way through the suspects. Did Warriner’s mistress, a famous dancer, see his death as her ticket on to the silver screen? Or was it the mysterious man who can’t take his eyes off Lewis’s close companion?
When the murder weapon is found in the compartment Mr Warriner’s wife occupies alone, she becomes the chief suspect. Until there’s another gunshot. When Cressida finds out that Andrews is hit, panic sets in, but she must try to stay calm.
But with her friend and co-investigator out of action, can Cressida get the journey, and the investigation, back on track? And will she catch the murderer before they reach their final destination?
Fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss will absolutely love this addictive Golden Age cosy mystery.
If you’ve followed along with the blog, you know how much I enjoy Fliss Chester’s Cressida Fawcett mysteries. With Death on the Scotland Express, Chester gives us another delightful mystery to unravel!
Cressida, along with her best friend Dotty and Dotty’s brother Alfred, is on her way back to London, traveling on the Scotland Express. The trio’s trip to the Scottish Highlands was full of more excitement than anyone expected, and they’re all looking forward to a relaxing trip home. But things don’t stay quiet for long. Businessman Lewis Warriner, who had been confronted by his wife as he was traveling with another woman, is shot dead in his cabin shortly after the train departs.
Detective Andrews is also on the train and on the case. But he’s smart enough to know that Cressida has access to information that people might be reluctant to share with a policeman, so he accepts her help in investigating. Mrs. Warriner is soon tagged as the prime suspect when a gun is found in her train compartment. But when she and Detective Andrews are also shot, it’s up to Cressida to bring all the loose ends together before the train reaches its destination.
This was a fabulous read! It’s another locked-room mystery, as the murder takes place after the train has departed, and there’s no stopping until they return to London. The closed environment adds tension, because anyone on the train could be the killer, and could kill again. The tension is compounded by the time constraint on the investigation. If the killer isn’t identified before everyone leaves the train, they could very well walk free.
Ruby the pug is, as always, a charming part of the story. She is often part of Cressida’s methods of gaining information, and always a good conversation starter. I mean, who can resist an adorable pug?
And if you’ve kept up with the series, you know Cressy is very much not marriage-minded. She’s always enjoyed her independence. But here we see her wrestling with some unaccustomed feelings when Alfred makes it clear that he cares for her as more than just his sister’s best friend. We also get to see a little glimpse of maternal instinct when Cressy finds herself trying to comfort Monty, a young noble whose nanny has mysteriously disappeared (and she has to deal with the fact that boys’ fingers will find their noses from time to time!). It will be entertaining to see what direction the budding romance between Cressy and Alfred takes, and Monty’s antics had me positively chuckling. (Boy mom here. Noble or not, young boys are in many ways all alike!)
The mystery itself had plenty of twists and turns and red herrings to chase. There was no shortage of suspects, and when the big reveal came, it wasn’t one I was really expecting. I won’t say any more than that. I’ll let you get the book and read and have the joy of discovering it for yourself.
Fliss Chester has given us another excellent adventure on the Scotland Express. I can’t wait to see what Cressida and crew get up to next!
About the author:
Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favourite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.