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Thomas Rendell Curran – Death of a Lesser Man

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Published by Boulder Publications (2011)




Of all the places I expected to find an interesting new book, the recent Arts and Craft Fair was the last that came to mind. Nevertheless, that was just where I found Thomas Rendell Currans Death of a Lesser Man, the third mystery featuring Inspector Eric Stride of the Newfoundland Constabulary. The time is 1947, two years prior to Confederation with Canada, the place St. Johns, then a town of some 40 000 residents as well as a temporary home to American personnel at the Pepperrell Air Force Base. British national, Great War veteran and businessman Harrison Rose is found shot dead in Bannerman Park close to his upscale home in Inspector Strides own neighbourhood. The successful search for his killer was hindered by British officials at the Government House, who have their own agenda for keeping an eye on the developments, takes the reader through events spanning the Great War, the Irish troubles, WWII commerce and lives returning to normal in peace time. There are several possible suspects for mystery fans to enjoy second guessing Inspector Strides method, and well researched historical data to provide a fascinating backdrop. Stride is no angel in his private life, but he takes his job seriously, and to get results he will not necessarily go strictly by the book. The lively crisp dialogue, familiar Newfoundland speech pattern and subtle irony in exchanges between Stride and his partner as well as the vivid descriptions of the greater St. Johns area in the 1940s made for very good reading and left this reader wanting to search for the two earlier Inspector Stride mysteries: Undertow, and The Rossiter File, as well as hoping for more future installments.