From time to time, I like to be able to point my visitors here towards a book which might resonate with the classic mysteries we celebrate here. Here's a new one, published just last month by Urbane Publications (which made an e-book copy available to me for review): the provocatively-titled Miss Christie Regrets. As the "Miss Christie" of the title is, indeed, Dame Agatha Christie, and the author, Guy Fraser-Sampson, is an active participant in our Golden Age of Detection group on Facebook, I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. It begins with a murder in a small museum in Hampstead, a part of London, and it features a team of detectives based at a police office in Hampstead which superior officers are trying to shut down. The murder is soon complicated by the discovery of another body - this one, quite obviously, having been walled up in a nearby basement for half a century or so. There appears to be a possible connection between the two murders so many years apart - and one of the key factors, as it happens, will involve Agatha Christie.
The book is in good part a police procedural, and there is a great deal about the relationships among the members of the police team - but there are plenty of references as well to other authors and characters of the Golden Age (including some interesting references to Lord Peter Wimsey). The book is meant to be the second in a longer series called "The Hampstead Murders," of which the first book, Death in Profile, is already available. The third volume, A Whiff of Cyanide, is to be released this summer. I found the fact that I hadn't read the first book did leave me occasionally a bit stranded in the broader arcs of the characters' stories, but Miss Christie Regrets stands pretty well on its own - and it's fun reading to try to catch all the Golden Age references.