London. 22nd December. Chief Inspector Brett Nightingale and Sergeant Beddoes have been called to a gloomy flat off Islington High Street. An elderly woman lies dead on the bed, and her trunk has been looted. The woman is Princess Olga Karukhin - an emigrant of Civil War Russia - and her trunk is missing its glittering treasure...
Out in the dizzying neon and festive chaos of the capital a colourful cast of suspects abound: the downtrodden grandson, a plutocratic jeweller, Bolsheviks with unfinished business? Beddoes and Nightingale have their work cut out in this tightly-paced, quirky and highly enjoyable jewel of the mystery genre.
There's an adage that says: 'if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all'. It is something I do try to adhere to. Thus, I will say the cover of this book is lovely. I think that probably sums up my thoughts about this book.
I can honestly say that is the only good things I can say about it. I really did not enjoy the book. I couldn't get into it (even though I did finish it); I thought the case was poor and not gripping in anyway; the characters were just names, they never came to life at all; the writer overwrote description-wise in parts, going on endlessly about something that didn't need describing. It wasn't your usual type of Christmas mystery as to be honest I suspect it was only set at Christmas to be able to sell it as a Christmas story (although I did know before I bought it that it wasn't the usual kind of Christmas mystery. I cannot remember the last time I was so disappointed in a book.
I love the British Library Crime Classics and was really looking forward to this one, especially as the last few Christmas BLCC books have been superb. However, disappointed really doesn't sum up my feelings about the book. I shall not be seeking out any other books by Mary Kelly and apart from the lovely cover, there is nothing at all about the book that warrants a recommendation.