Two dead bodies.
A family of suspects.
One grumpy detective.
Robert Thorogood is back with the latest ‘Death in Paradise’ Mystery, seeing the return of DI Richard Poole.
Death Knocks Twice is a murder mystery set among the islands of the Caribbean. Just published by HQ Stories (Harper Collins imprint), I am delighted to be joining the tour today with a my review and also some interesting facts on the author himself…
A body has been found – but nobody can identify it. Who can they be, and why would someone murder them? Richard must solve the mystery before death knocks twice…
The new Death in Paradise mystery
Reluctantly stationed on the sweltering Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, Detective Inspector Richard Poole dreams of cold winds, drizzly rain and a pint in his local pub.
Just as he is feeling as fed up as can be, a mysterious vagrant is found dead in the grounds of the historic Beaumont plantation. Immediately assumed to be suicide, DI Poole is not so convinced and determined to prove otherwise. Never mind that the only fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to the victim. Or that the room was locked from the inside.
Before long, death knocks twice and a second body turns up. The hunt is on to solve the case – despite the best efforts of the enigmatic Beaumont family…
Detective Inspector Richard Poole is a wonderful character. The visual of this hot, sweltering, cranky, yet endearing Englishman, trussed up in a suit, is portrayed with such clarity.
DI Poole does not want to be stuck on Saint Marie as the inspector in charge. His colleagues, with their laid back approach to life, are the antithesis of all that is DI Poole. He is a very fastidious character and their laissez-faire approach to solving any crime is more that he can cope with.
A surprise visit to the station of a woman in obvious distress sets DI Poole on immediate alert. She is Lucy Beaumont, the daughter of a plantation owner, whose family have been coffee bean growers for generations on the island. Lucy is in a panic convinced that she is been stalked. Immediately DI Poole’s thoughts are awoken to the possibility of a ‘real’ case on Saint Marie, a case he can get stuck into and start to feel his worth again.
With his partner, Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey, DI Poole takes a trip to the Beaumont plantation to check out Lucy’s concerns. While there, they are alerted to the sound of gunshots and race to the scene where the body of an unknown drifter is discovered in a closed off room, dead, with a gun in his hand. The immediate reaction of all is a suicide but DI Poole has a different theory. He suspects this person died at the hand of someone else….but why? Who would have wanted this seemingly innocuous character dead?
Death Knocks Twice is what I would describe as a warm and cozy murder mystery, a tribute to Agatha Christie and books of that genre. There is an innocence attached to all the characters, even the guilty. Robert Thorogood writes with an old-fashioned style as he introduces us to a motley mix of individuals.
DI Poole approaches the case in a very methodical manner, using tips and techniques from very old FBI handbooks. His mannerisms and mindset may belong to a different era but he is extremely astute as he approaches each clue, delving deeper with a patience that seems to amuse his work colleagues.
Death Knocks Twice is a classic ‘whodunnit’, a perfect read for anyone looking for an alternative to the many books that are on the shelves today. It’s not a fast-paced page turner but a gentle meander along a very bendy river. With the stunning backdrop of the Caribbean island of Saint Marie, Death Knocks Twice is the ideal book to lose yourself in for a few hours.
Purchase Link ~ Death Knocks Twice
5 Facts About Me
by Robert Thorogood
1. During the 1997 election, I was briefly employed by Dom Joly to dress in a head-to-toe bear costume and drive around London in a white London taxi so that I, Dom, and a number of other head-to-toe bears could doorstop John Major. I have no recollection as to why we were dressed as bears, but it obviously worked as John Major lost the election. Because of Dom Joly and his satirical bears? I think it’s the only sensible conclusion historians will draw.
2. I was also briefly employed to change the batteries on the remote controls of a distaff branch of the Saudi Royal Family. The job involved sitting in an office near Berkeley Square, and then – like Batman – answering the phone and responding to dire battery-based emergencies in the houses nearby where members of the Saudi Royal family were sitting, unable to change channels on their remote controls, due to battery depletion. A really peculiar job, but one I enjoyed tremendously, if only because I got to see inside some extraordinary houses in and around Mayfair.
3. I once demonstrated magic tricks to Princess Diana when I was working as a magician at Harrods. Having said that, I didn’t actually notice her in the crowd, and it was only my friends telling me afterwards that made me realise who the blonde woman had been. Apart from Diana, Princess of Wales, the only other famous person I demonstrated magic to was Dennis Wise, the footballer.
4. I briefly held a world record when I and three friends played Fives (a very niche sport) for 37 hours straight. However, I then told some other Fives players what we’d done, they broke our world record a few weeks later, and then the Guinness Book of Records abolished ‘endurance’ records later that year. This means that these other people still hold the world record – when it should have been us – and it’s all my own fault for not keeping my trap shut.
5. I got the idea for Death in Paradise after reading that the Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer had just died under suspicious circumstances in the Caribbean during the Cricket World Cup of 2007. Because Mr Woolmer held a British passport, the Met Police sent out a British Detective to head up the investigation, and I found myself thinking: ‘Oh, the Met Police send Coppers abroad to solve crimes, is there a show in that?’
More about the Author:
Robert Thorogood was born in Colchester, Essex, in 1972. Robert read History at Downing College, Cambridge, where he was also President of Footlights. Robert created the hit BBC television series ‘Death in Paradise’ which is currently preparing for its 7th series. The last series averaged 9.1 million viewers.
Robert’s love of the genre came from reading his first ‘proper’ novel when he was 10-years old – Agatha Christie’s ‘Peril at End House’. ‘Death Knocks Twice’ is his third DI Richard Poole novel. He now lives in Marlow in Buckinghamshire with his wife, children and increasingly cranky Bengal cat Daniel.
Twitter ~ @robthor