I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; The Wickham Market Murder by Iain Maitland, I am thrilled to be sharing my review of this brand new book.
About the Book
The Wickham Market Murder
Wickham Market’s local constable William Palmer spends his days yearning to solve a significant case so he can earn his detective’s badge.
But Palmer is torn, because he is also in love with the school mistress Alice Kemp who doesn’t want to leave the village.
One night, the night of a dramatic storm, there is a murder. A housemaid – Evelyn Maud Roberts – is found stabbed to death at the local vicarage.
Palmer has his chance to make a name for himself.
The local doctor declares that Evelyn was six months pregnant.
And the vicar’s daughter, Charlotte Mellor, names three men who may have reason to commit murder; Walter Fisk, soon-to-be-master at the workhouse; Albert Nunn, the postman; Frederick Hawes, the slow-witted village boy in love with Evelyn.
Palmer investigates. But he only has so much time before Inspector Bloomfield – the veteran detective from Suffolk Police – arrives from Ipswich to take over the case.
And before the killer strikes again.
Don’t you love it when you discover a ‘new-to-me-author’ right at the start of a brand new series?
Believe me, this is a rarity for me, I usually start a series halfway through or near the end, then have to guess who people are and never quite ‘getting’ the plot. I didn’t get any of those thoughts today. I was incredibly excited to get going with this book, I was intrigued from the first moment I set eyes on it and knew that it was one I really HAD to read – despite having a mountain-sized tbr pile – I am so pleased that I got the chance to read this one, it’s incredibly well written, entertaining, full of atmosphere and edgy detail, plus more than that a stonking great ‘who-dunnit’
This is the first book in the fabulously intriguing; Bloomfield and Palmer Mysteries, what a cracking introduction to a series that I think is going to be highly addictive and I can’t wait for the next instalment.
I really liked Palmer, he wants nothing more than to be a fully-fledged detective, but also living in a sleepy village isn’t helpful. He’s love to leave and head towards something bigger, but his heart is rallied against that as he is in love with Alic; the village schoolmistress and she is more than happy to stay in Wickham Market.
One day Palmer’s dreams may just come true when there is a sudden murder, which wakes up the village, this is it Palmer old boy, time for those detective stripes!! Well, that is the plan and all is going swimmingly until the arrival of a ‘proper’ detective; retiree Bloomfield who has been sworn in to take over.
The characters are an eclectic mix, they are pretty well fleshed out and each brings their own quirks to the story, I do really like Bloomfield and Palmer, they are so different, I thought that they were a little like chalk and cheese they should really work together but they rub along rather well.
There is so much about this book that I loved, I especially enjoyed following Palmer and Bloomfield as they attempted to solve the murder without all of the 21st-century forensics and knowledge, it’s old school detective work at its best. I liked the darker tones which come with the era and the historical crime genre.
I loved the way the story made a drastic turn, just when we thought ‘right this it is, the villain is about to be unmasked’ then boom, something happens – I won’t say too much, but it’s engaging and gripping right to the end.
The pacing is perfectly matched to the story, it speeds headlong like a hi-speed train from the first page until you are closing the last, I am a notoriously slow reader but this grabbed my attention and before I knew it I was halfway through.
A definite must-read, I can’t wait for more!
About the Author
Iain Maitland is the author of three previous psych thrillers, The Scribbler (2020), Mr Todd’s Reckoning (2019) and Sweet William (2017), all published by Contraband, an imprint of Saraband. Mr Todd’s Reckoning is coming to the big screen in 2023.
Iain is also the author of two memoirs, Dear Michael, Love Dad (Hodder, 2016), a book of letters written to his eldest son who experienced depression and anorexia, and (co-authored with Michael) Out Of The Madhouse (Jessica Kingsley, 2018).
He is also an Ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity. He talks regularly about mental health issues in schools and colleges and workplaces.
Follow the Tour
Thank you to Zoe at Zoloos Book Tours for the invite to this tour.