Friday, 13 June 2014

Read in 2014 - 19: Corpse Way

A great find from Amazon's Kindle store, "Corpse Way" is a contemporary mystery set in Yorkshire and was the perfect reading company for my Yorkshire holiday which ended on Tuesday.

Millie, a young woman who is still trying to come to terms with her mother's death and her father's relationship with a new woman in his life, goes to visit her grandmother in the Yorkshire Dales. She can't imagine those three weeks to be exciting in any way, but soon finds out that her preconceptions about the place and the people were wrong: she stumbles into a situation that not only could very well determine the course of her life from now on (including the very tender beginnings of a romance), but also ends up being crucial to solving the mystery behind the sudden death of two people. Of course, her private investigation into the matter puts her and the new friends she has made in danger, but she emerges a stronger person, surer of herself and of what she wants.

I like the way Susan Parry writes. It is unpretentious, and she has not overdone it with the dialect (I know it is hard for some people to understand). You can tell she knows all the places that appear in the book very well, and people are described accurately enough to be able to picture them in your mind. 
You do learn quite a bit about lead mining in this book; while some people may not find this information necessary because it does not really contribute to the plot, I found it very interesting. 
A good editor could have advised Susan Parry to be more concise in some parts, when it comes to describing what people do and say. For instance, during a visit to a supermarket, instead of simply telling us that the characters put their shopping into the car and then sat down for coffee while waiting for their friends, we read that Millie says to her friend "Let's put the shopping in the car" and then they go out and do it. Such superfluous, redundant bits can be a little too lengthy for some readers and make them impatient to know what actually HAPPENS - it is, after all, a mystery.

The author's website is here; apart from learning something about Susan Parry and her books, you'll also find some beautiful pictures of Yorkshire countryside there.

This was the first book in a series of (so far) six books, with the 7th in the making. I will certainly get the complete series.


  1. Hi Meike, thank you so much for reviewing 'Corpse Way' and for your kind comments. I thoroughly agree with your points and it so happens that now I have finished 'Grand Depart' (it's at the printer) and have a plan to give 'Corpse Way' a little 'makeover'. It will be about 10% shorter - not losing any of the action but with a little less superfluous conversation and visits to teashops!

    1. Hi Susan, what a nice surprise to open my blog this morning and find your comment! Thank you very much for having taken the time to read my review and comment on it.
      I'll soon have the whole series on my kindle and then all I need is finding the time to read them, probably spaced out over a longer period of time - I suppose I will sort of "save" them for when I feel I want to read something from Yorkshire.
      By the way, visits to teashops are always welcome :-)

  2. I have bought this for my kindle and will begin it soon....It sounds interesting. How exciting to have comment from the author!

    1. Several authors have been so kind to comment on my reviews here, I find it a great way to get in touch with the people who, by their writing, contribute so positively to my life.