A MelanieM Review: Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7) by Charlie Cochrane

Standard

 

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

St Bride’s College is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of reviving the traditional celebration of the saint’s day. When events get marred by murder it’s natural that Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith will get called in to help the police with their inside knowledge. But why has somebody been crawling about on the chapel roof and who’s obsessed with searching in the library out of hours?

Yes! The mystery is afoot to borrow another sleuth’s phrase in the latest Cambridge Fellows mystery by Charlie Cochrane.  The author is not following along a specific timeline for her stories, happily for us who follow this series, so here some of our favorite characters like Jonty’s parents can still be seen taking part in solving this  quite puzzling affair. What a joy as I love them so.

In Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code, St. Bride’s is looking to reestablish many of its older traditions for Saint’s Day, and it has called upon it faculty and staff for assistance.  That includes the mystery of who killed one of its students, and cause behind his death.  Once again it’s Jonty and  Orlando on the job. Orlando especially who was feeling maybe out of sorts, and needing a mystery to solve, got several handed to him.

Because as we all know, nothing is simple in a Cambridge Fellows mystery.  There are layers, and   complications, and a knotted path to follow to the end. A marvelous journey done in companable conversation, affectionate glances, witty phrases (with the  occasional snark thrown in), hewn through years of partnership and love that the author has crafted so carefully and genuinely.  I know these men because I have been through so much with them with this series that coming into this stories feel like visiting with old friends.

Charlie Cochrane is a master at placing her characters and story into a historic setting with accurate touch that’s so subtle that she makes it look easy.  It’s not.  The time period comes alive in her hands just as Jonty and Orlando do, as they have gone through the years in this series, emerging on the  other end of the war, back in England.  All the changes reflected in each story as it is here.  Along with that you get the deepening romance and love over the years of these two remarkable men and often some very gnarly murders as is the case here.

I adore the mysteries Cochrane concocted for this one, all for a story in 110 pages.  Amazing.

I had a great visit and can’t wait to see where the next mystery takes us.  I’m thrilled that the author is happy to go willy nilly all over this couple’s timeline.  I want their journey never to be over and this is a great way to do it.

I highly recommend this and all the Cambridge Fellow Mysteries, but especially 1 through 10 should be read in the order they were written.

Cover art by Alex Beecroft: I love the soft tone of this illustration.  Great for the era and story.  Love the author’s novels too.

Buy Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 110 pages
Published November 26th 2018 by The Right Chair Press
ASIN B07JM5Q3J6
Series Cambridge Fellows #12.7

Charlie Cochrane on Christmas, Traditions, and her new release ‘Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code’ (author guest blog)

Standard

Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code (Cambridge Fellows #12.7)

by

Charlie Cochrane

Cover Illustrator: Alex Beecroft

Buy Link:  Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charlie Cochrane on tour with her latest story in the wonderful Cambridge Fellows series, Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code. Welcome, Charlie.

✒︎

Charlie Cochrane on Christmas, Traditions, and Change

 

“Are you trying to ruin Christmas?”

That’s what our daughters said to us earlier this year when we announced our intention of having, for the first time ever, an artificial tree. We’ve always had a real tree, but last year the one we bought from our usual, highly reliable source decided to pop its clogs a few days before Christmas, after only ten days of display, meaning I had to get a last minute replacement. I’m too old for enduring that sort of stress again, so artificial it is (and very nice too). Thing is, our three daughters – who are in their mid-20s – want Christmas to be like it’s always been. In fact, one of them said last year that it gets better and better as they grow older. I’m not sure if that means we’re getting it right or getting it wrong!

Trouble is, I’m just as bad. I’m like the worst sort of overexcited child about Christmas. It begins when I buy lots of things in the January sales to go away for next Christmas, goes onto “simmer” mode through the summer and bursts forth again in November. The Cochrane household at that point starts to fill with: presents bought, wrapped and hidden away; cards written and ready to post; Christmas songs being sung by me and youngest daughter at annoyingly loud volume and other seasonal delights.

The Christmas period also has family traditions that must be observed. Everybody piling into our bed on Christmas morning to open stocking presents. (The girls now give me a stocking, too, so things have definitely got better in that regard.) The Christmas quiz that occupies the time between the main course and the pudding finishing cooking. The Christmas Eve challenge that has included putting names to old family pictures, guessing the flavours of jelly beans and – last year – a Christmas themed ‘escape room’.

If we so much as suggest we change something all hell breaks loose. We’re not necessarily talking about anything as drastic as going to a hotel for a few days – we had to fight tooth and nail to get the main meat on Christmas day changed from turkey to ham, even though none of us like turkey! Does anybody else have this problem?

Lessons in Breaking the Deadly Code

St Bride’s College is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of reviving the traditional celebration of the saint’s day. When events get marred by murder it’s natural that Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith will get called in to help the police with their inside knowledge. But why has somebody been crawling about on the chapel roof and who’s obsessed with searching in the library out of hours?

About the Author

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.

She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Endeavour, Bold Strokes Books, and Riptide among others. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames and is on the organising team for UK Meet.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18

Twitter: http://twitter.com/charliecochrane

Website: http://www.charliecochrane.co.uk