A DEAD MAN IN MALTA
This series is set pre-WW I and features Scotland Yard’s Sandor Seymour, who was reared by immigrant parents in working-class London and now works with Special Branch. As with all of Pearce’s books, humor and a mystery are well used. Additionally he brings the atmosphere and background of the countries where the mysteries are set to life. Multiple viewpoints and conversations with overlapping dialogue add to the fun.
Seymour is sent from London to Malta after a man survives a hot-air balloon crash but dies in the hospital where he was recovering nicely. Malta is a Crown Colony, and the Governor is appointed by the Colonial Department. A British woman who is a member of the St. John’s Ambulance Association comes forward, unhappy with what she saw at the hospital. Is she just a troublemaker or is something wrong? Germany is also asking questions. And the harbor is filled with war ships that almost no one is paying attention to at this point. Is there a connection with other deaths at the hospital? (SOHO, Nov., 240 pp., $25.00)