by Sean Deffely
A Book Review \by Jackie Houchin
X Marks the Spot by is a very clever mystery involving kidnapping and murder in the Manor House of the very rich Mayhew family, in which all six of the adult children’s names begin with the letter X. Once you get these names straight, the story becomes one of greed, sibling rivalry, deceit, and cold-blooded crime.
The posh, dapper-dressing, brilliant, but oh, so, conceited Detective Chief Inspector, James Thaw assures everyone that he will certainly solve the case. And while he reads detective novels or simply sits and “thinks,” it appears his “right-hand-man, Detective Inspector, Thomas Friday does all the research and legwork.
Just when it looks like the case is getting away from him, Thaw, like Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, comes up with possibilities and connections the reader never sees. But of course, they all make sense when he tells them.
And at the end of the book, also like Homes and Poirot, he calmly reveals his methods and conclusions in a single room gathering of everyone involved – a truly surprising and satisfyingly denouement.
The Epilogue is a very sly lead-in to the next book in the series to whet your appetite, so beware. It made me want to check out the other DCI James Thaw mysteries!