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Mystery Monday – Murder Most British series by Dorothy Simpson

Murder Most British featuring Inspector Luke Thanet
Series by Dorothy Simpson
by Cheryl G. (Poncer)


I recently ran into book one of this series, The Night She Died here on PaperBackSwap. And since I love a British mystery I ordered it. And then proceded to order the next 8 books in the series.

The Kent countryside and the village of Sturrenden are described beautifully by Dorothy Simpson  in each book, as the seasons pass. They are as much characters in the books as the rest of the cast.

The Murder Most British follows CID Inspector Thanet around the Kent countryside solving murders. Thanet is not a blustery blowhard cop. Rather he is an officer who cares about his wife, children, co-workers and his victims. He actually hates his first glimpse of a dead body. Luke Thanet believes in getting into the victims life and mind to figure out who the murderer is.
So far Ms. Simpson has written 15 books in this series. I am up to number 7. Each mystery is a who-done-it, but also a why-done-it. I have only managed to figure out the murderer in 2 of them. But at the ending, they made perfect sense.

While these may be considered by many to be cozy mysteries, I think they are more “thinking mysteries”. While there is no adult content nor gory blood and guts, Inspector Thanet and his Detective Sergeant, Lineham do delve into minds, habits and motivation of suspects on their list.

In Puppet for a Corpse, Thanet says, “A good detective not only has to be intelligent, persevering and prepared to do enless boring routine work, he also needs one other quality: Intuition. I see it rather as the ability to make connections which are there but are not immediately apparent. Subterranean connections.”

Unfortunately, in 2000 Ms. Simpson suffered a repetitive stress injury and was forced to stop writing.

This series can be read out of order, but I have enjoyed reading them in order and following along as Thanet and Lineham’s personal lives and characters develop.

  1. The Night She Died   1981
  2. Six Feet Under  1982
  3. Puppet for a Corpse   1983
  4. Close Her Eyes   1984
  5. Last Seen Alive   1985
  6. Dead on Arrival   1986
  7. Element of Doubt  1987
  8. Suspicious Death   1988
  9. Dead by Morning   1989
  10. Doomed to Die   1991
  11. Wake the Dead   1992
  12. No Laughing Matter  1993
  13. A Day for Dying   1995
  14. Once Too Often     1998
  15. Dead And Gone    2000

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One Response to “Mystery Monday – Murder Most British series by Dorothy Simpson”

  1. MSCOZY says:

    I also enjoyed Simpson’s series. These were one of the first ones I tried when looking for a good British series. I used to read American cozies but after decades, I switched to British mysteries which I felt at home reading.

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