The Herring Seller's Apprentice: A Gripping Tale of Murder, Deceit and Chocolate

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9780230529656: The Herring Seller's Apprentice: A Gripping Tale of Murder, Deceit and Chocolate

Ethelred Tressider is a crime writer with problems. His latest novel is going nowhere, mid-life crisis is looming and he's burdened by the literary agent he probably deserves: Elsie Thirkettle, a diminutive but determined individual who claims to enjoy neither the company of writers nor literature of any sort. But however bad things look they can always get worse, as Ethelred discovers when his ex-wife, Geraldine, vanishes close to his Sussex home. When the disappearance becomes a murder enquiry, the police quickly decide that Geraldine Tressider has been the victim of a local serial killer.Elsie begs to differ, on the grounds that the killer's other victims had been Sad Cows, whereas Geraldine was a Scheming Bitch - another species entirely - and no serious serial killer would murder one in mistake for the other ...Soon the indefatigable Elsie has bullied Ethelred into embarking upon his own investigation, but as their enquiries proceed, she begins to suspect that her client's own alibi is not as solid as he claims. "The Herring Seller's Apprentice" is an appallingly funny murder mystery, packed with dizzying plot twists and peopled by a memorable cast of eccentrics. 'Masterful' - "Financial Times". 'A classic detective novel' - "Scotsman". 'Unusually accomplished' - Helen Dunmore.

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About the Author:

Former Cultural Attache to Stockholm and Head of the British Council in Sweden, Len Tyler is now Chief Executive of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in London.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Between the cartoon-like cover and the strange title (a subtle allusion to red herrings), you might not realize that this is a cozy mystery. But it is, and it stars a mystery author. Ethelred Tressider writes three different series, none of which are spectacularly successful, but the author and his agent, Elsie Thirkettle, manage to make a living from them. With the disappearance of Tressider’s former wife, Geraldine, Elsie thinks it is the perfect time for Ethelred to branch out into true crime. It is soon apparent that the caustic, scheming Geraldine (who had been responsible for nicknaming Ethelred the Herring-Seller) was also a crook. Tressider has no interest in solving the crime, but Elsie (the apprentice of the title) pushes him into it. Tyler is a stylish writer, and his humor is both subtle and sly. Elsie tells Ethelred not to bother developing character, describing atmosphere, or using clever literary allusions, but Tyler does all those things superbly. Readers may wonder after finishing this romp whether a series is in the offing—the conclusion seems to suggest it’s not—but Ten Little Herrings has already been published in England and will be appearing in the U.S. soon. --Judy Coon

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