Welcome to Westmorland. Perhaps the most scenic county in England! Home of the poets! Land of the great artists! District of the Great lakes! And the scene of a mysterious crime…
Swanton Morley, the People's Professor, once again sets off in his Lagonda to continue his history of England, The County Guides.
Stranded in the market town of Appleby after a tragic rail crash, Morley, his daughter Miriam and his assistant, Stephen Sefton, find themselves drawn into a world of country fairs, gypsy lore and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. When a woman's body is discovered at an archaeological dig, for Morley there's only one possible question: could it be murder?
Join Morley, Miriam and Sefton as they journey along the Great North road and the Settle-Carlisle Line into the dark heart of 1930s England.
I got this when it was offered for free on Amazon. If I had spent 2.99, which is the listed price, I would have been upset. The book is very, very general and not detailed very much. While on the plus side, it does mention some lesser known museums, it is baffling in the major museums that it leaves out. It isn't complete in terms of description or much else.
The Norfolk Mystery is the story of Stephen Sefton, who, jobless and desperate for money after drifting through a few teaching jobs and fighting in Spain, becomes a writer's research assistant. Swanton Morley, the writer, churns out dozens of newspaper articles and books on any topic imaginable. His latest project is a set of guidebooks for every county in England, starting with Norfolk.
Sefton and Morley travel to a small village to begin their research, only to find themselves stuck there after they discover the vicar's dead body and become embroiled in the investigation as to what happened.
Morley is completely obnoxious--he knows everything and talks constantly, and much of what he says is in Latin. Sefton is okay as a character even though his main contribution to the narrative is to feel embarrassed on Morley's behalf. We meet a colorful cast of characters in this story, some of them reasonably amusing, and then the book ends in a horrible letdown as Morley magically solves the case and you find that there wasn't really a mystery at all.
I might try other books by this author, but I don't think I'll return to this series.