The Herring Sellers Apprentice: A Graph Review

herring seller graphThe Herring Sellers Apprentice

by L C Tyler

A Graph Review:   65 start, maintaining 70, highpoint 75

PanMacmillan               paperback        978 023053128 4                   buy now from Amazon

I picked up this book on a recommendation a couple of years ago and have only now read it ( Dec.2013).  I delayed on a treat but can happily report that I have found an author I intend to catch up with.   Time lost, yes, but worth waiting for as this book blends, no, creates an honest, humorous and even sympathetic crime novel with some stylish multilayered aspects.

herring sellercoverjpgSpot the signposts, spot the red herrings even when offered on a plate.  A classic of the genre written by a writer with a cunning wit.   Authors running through my mind as I write are: David Lodge, Leslie Thomas and Andrey Kurkov   (Death and the Penguin).  Why?  For humour and character and space between the storyline that the reader can draw from.  Yes, I know other authors can fill these shoes too but these three just rise to the surface and wave at me this moment.

Intricate plotting carries the day.  Mainly narrated by a writer, Ethelred Tressider, also hiding behind two pseudonyms.  A writer suffering from writers-block, an ex-wife, a body, missing persons, missing money, car journeys, plots and delete buttons.  All with his literary-agent, Elsie Thirkettle, prodding him into an investigation. Not forgetting the police or the near touch of surrealism or approaching farce. Yet hold on for the ride, it never quite goes out of the box.

The characters develop throughout and are supported by well rounded descriptions of home and scene.  Essex, well-recognised from the authors deftly coloured description and Sussex fitting neatly into the crime-scenery too.  Changes of voice work well as the narrator varies the tone and where it darkens.  The book is a satisfying length, fitting the story and writing style (not always easily done).

Already widely and highly reviewed, merited.  Here is to me reading the next books by L C Tyler; my luck being that they are already published!