Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I’m always so thrilled to see another Jonty and Orlando mystery be released from Charlie Cochrane. It means I get to go back and spend my time with those deeply in love Cambridge Fellows I have come to adore over a series of stories that span 20 years of their lives together in approximately Edwardian England.
While the earlier stories follow a rigid timeline, the later tales are more fluid so I never know where they might fall along the 20 some span of years so far. Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose sees them in their later years, post WWI, where the effects of that war is still raw, on them and England. Both men still bear the scars of service, inside and out. And as this story is to prove, they are far from the only ones.
There are so many things I admire about Charlie Cochrane’s writing and this series. For one, its authentic, from the language down to the accoutrements of the people at every level of society you see within the stories. And not once will it every feel anything but completely natural and easy (as opposed to a knowledge dump). You become immersed in the times, first pre-war England and then all the horrors of WWI, the very first war of devastating impact with chemical weaponry and more. We see it all through the eyes of Jonty and Orlando, Jonty’s family, and the extended “family” they have gathered together at St. Bride’s College, where they have taught all these years and met.
Then, there are the characters, no people, you have come to love over the series of stories. Its not just Orland Coppersmith and Jonty Stewart, but everyone that Cochrane has created as foundation characters, including the Stewart family and the St. Bride’s College staff, from the head of the college right down to the men who take in the luggage and keep the grounds proper. Not to forget the housekeeper at their cottage or the detectives they work with. Nope, all real. And when over the course of the years, some die, as the intrepid Mr. and Mrs Steward did, how I wept with loss.
So you can imagine, jumping into a new mystery is like coming home again.
Here Cochrane has come up with a doozy of a murder mystery. A man is hit by a car but his wife is convinced it was murder. It kept me guessin with layers upon layers, surrounded with the poignancy of the survivors and the ever deepening ramifications from WWI upon people and place. Stepping up is Jonty’s sister and brother in law to help with the mysteries (yes, multiple) as well as the crew from St. Bride’s.
But the best? Being gently swung back into the loving, long-established relationship of Jonty and Orlando. It now has all the hallmarks of a couple who knows each other so well they answer for each other, the adoration for each other, for each other’s intellects to their aging bodies is cellular that it glows off the page.
How I love them and this series. Its one of my heartstones of fiction and one I always recommend. Now I have another story to add to my recommendations. Love historical fiction and romance? Pick up Lessons in Chasing the Wild Goose by Charlie Cochrane. I hope you are familiar with all of the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries, of which this is but one. Gather them all up and hold them close. They are true gems!
Cover art: Alex Beecroft. Love the cover. Works perfectly for the story and its charming.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 104 pages
Published March 19th 2018 by The Right Chair Press
Original TitleLessons in Chasing the Wild Goose
Series Cambridge Fellows