Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lessons for Survivors (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries #9) by Charlie Cochrane

Cambridge, September 1919 Orlando Coppersmith should be happy. WWI is almost a year in the past, he's back at St. Bride's College in Cambridge, he has his lover and best friend Jonty Stewart back at his side and-to top it all-he's about to be made Forsterian Professor of Applied Mathematics. With his inaugural lecture to give and a plagiarism case to adjudicate on, Orlando's hands are full, so can he and Jonty afford to take on an investigative commission surrounding a suspected murder? Especially one which must be solved within a month so that a clergyman can claim what he says is his rightful inheritance? The answer looks like being a resounding "no" when the lecture proves almost impossible to write, the plagiarism case gets turned back on him and Jonty (spiced with a hint of blackmail), and the case surrounding Peter Biggar's death proves to have too many leads and too little evidence. Orlando begins to doubt their ability to solve cases any more, and his mood isn't improved when there seems to be no way of outsmarting the blackmailer. Will this be the first failure for Coppersmith and Stewart? And how will they maintain their reputations-professional, private and as amateur detectives?

Not quite a year out of the war and it looks like things are getting back to normal, or at least as normal as Jonty and Orlando are familiar with.  Everything seems to come to their doorstep all at once, when doesn't it though?  Just as Orlando is trying to write his lecture for his professorship, he's also on a committee that's overseeing a plagiarist case involving "the college next door" and the dreaded Owens that is still holding a grudge for not having solved the Woodville Ward case  (Discovery #3) before Coppersmith and Stewart.  But then a case comes for them to sink their teeth into, except there is a time limit, only one month.  Seeing our beloved boys get back into the thick of things is amazing and fun.  At the start, they seem to have lost a bit of their confidence in the deduction abilities, some due to the war and other due to still missing Jonty's parents, who were lost during the war to the influenza epidemic.  Soon, they enlist the help of past friends and Jonty's sister, Lavinia and it seems that they just might be able to pull it off.  Mixed with the usual humor we have come to know from the lovers and their unique way of looking at life, Lessons for Survivors is a great entry in this series.


Author Link:  Goodreads