Thursday, December 14, 2023

“Murder by the Quay” by Roy Lewis

It starts off as just another city council meeting, and Arnold Landon of the Morpeth Department of Antiquities & Museums in Northumberland is there to provide the department’s insight into a proposed land development. The meeting is proceeding like a script until the developer erupts, accusing all and sundry of corruption, deceit, bribery, and a slew of other crimes. A well-known, and well-connected, attorney steps forward, calming the situation and bailing out the sweating city council chairman.  

That same attorney is master of a masonic-like organization, and he sees in Landon an opportunity to recruit knowledge and expertise. Landon, however, isn’t interested. Another individual talks with him about undertaking some research relating to the medieval origins of that same organization, and this time his historical curiosity leads him to accept. Arnold and his good bookselling friend Jane Wilson start on a research journey, including a visit to The Borders area in Scotland. 


In a seemingly unrelated area, Detective Inspector Culpepper is finding himself boxed in from investigating a local crime boss. Every time he starts getting close, he’s warned off by his superiors. Then he’s called in to investigate the murder of an attorney – the very same attorney who spoke at the city council meeting. He discovers there’s a connection to the crime boss, and the hunt is on. He also discovers that pesky Arnold Landon is also somehow involved (Landon and Culpepper have a history). 


Roy Lewis

Murder by the Quay
 is the ninth Arnold Landon mystery novel by British author Roy Lewis. This book in the series really moves the story in seemingly two directions at once, and they almost appear to be separate stories. Until Lewis cleverly brings them together. And it has something of a cliffhanger ending. Landon seems like such an unassuming person that it’s rather surprising what he manages to get himself involved in. And who would have expected medieval historical research to become so deadly?


Lewis (1933-2019) was the author of some 60 other mysteries, novels, and short story collections. His Inspector Crow series includes A Lover Too ManyMurder in the MineThe Woods MurderError of Judgment, and Murder for Money, among others. The Eric Ward series, of which The Sedleigh Hall Murder is the first (and originally published as A Certain Blindness in 1981), includes 17 novels. Lewis lived in northern England. 


Of the three series – Arnold Landon, Eric Ward, and Inspector Crow – my favorite had been Eric Ward. But Arnold Landon is winning me over.




Murder Under the Bridge by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the Tower by Roy Lewis


Murder in the Church by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the Barn by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the Manor by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the Farmhouse by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the Stableyard by Roy Lewis.


Murder in the House by Roy Lewis.


Error in Judgment by Roy Lewis. 


Some Thursday Readings


Murders for December – Jeremy Black at The Critic Magazine.


My First Thriller: Patricia Cornwell – Rick Pullen at CrimeReads. 


This – poem and artwork by Sonja Benskin Mesher.


Year of the Monarch: Am Paying Attention? – Dheepa Maturi at Tweetspeak Poetry.


I Was Wrong About John Fetterman – Peter Savodnik at The Free Press.


Fredericksburg: “War So Terrible” & Peaceful Beauty – Chris Heisey at Emerging Civil War.


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