Colin Crampton of the Brighton Evening Chronicle is in Sicily with his girlfriend, Shirley Goldfarb. They’re there for Colin to kneel on bended knee and propose. The ring in in his pocket. The moment is at hand.
And then they hear a woman screaming.
It’s 1966. Crime reporter Crampton attracts murder and mayhem like bees to honey. Or flies to flypaper. In short order, the pending proposal is he and Shirley are helping the young woman escape from her husband – and perhaps the Mafia.
It’s back to England, where everything is World Cup; the championship game will be happening shortly at Wembley. In the meantime, Colin is looking into the murder of the young woman’s father, ostensibly an Italian restaurant owner but actually a cover for smuggled liquor and cigarettes. Soon Crampton is on a roller coaster ride, involving thugs, stolen trophies, fraud, smuggling, North Korean spies, and the looking World Cup game – which may include an assassination in front of 100,000 fans.
The World Cup Mystery is the latest Colin Crampton novel by British author Peter Bartram. It has so many twists, turns, surprises, and upsets that you might search for a page or two with a quiet sit in a church or a meditation in a wood. You might search for that, and your search will not be successful.
Bartram has published several Colin Crampton mystery novels and story collections. He had a long career in journalism, including being a reporter on a weekly newspaper, an editor for newspapers and magazines in London, and freelance journalism – all of which have been utilized in creating the character of Colin Crampton. Bartram is also a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.
The World Cup Mystery is wisecracking fun (Crampton is an old-style, hard-drinking reporter, after all). But the biggest mystery is – will Crampton complete his proposal of marriage to Shirley? And will she kill him if he doesn’t?