Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Memorial Moment: Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code by Charlie Cochrane

Lessons in Cracking 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?

As the revival of the St. Bride's Day traditional celebrations nears, signs of break-ins and crawling about the chapel roof have given Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith a new case.  Is a dastardly crime afoot or is it just dunderhead pranks?

OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD!OHMYGOD! A new Cambridge Fellows Mysteries is here and I finally got a chance to read it(holiday reading stopped me from getting to it sooner so I just told myself it wasn't out yet๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰)  What better way to start off the new year than with Jonty and Orlando on the case?  I have been a huge fan of these boys since I first discovered Lessons in Love back in the summer of 2014 and I've said it before but I'll say it again: whether Charlie Cochrane has only a one paragraph holiday coda or 100 full length novels left in her for this pair, I'll be first in line to gobble them up.  I don't know just what it is about this series that hooks me in but whatever it is, I'm all for it.

As for Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code, well the mystery is fun and yes I know there is a bit of death and destruction involved but "fun" is the best way to describe it.  An added plus with Deadly Code, as it is set back in 1911, the elder Stewarts are back and ready to help when needed.  We see more of Mr. Stewart aiding the boys but we get still have the ever feisty Mrs. Stewart showing her favoritism to Orlando too๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰.  I think that's about all I'm going to say to the mystery part of the tale as it is a novella, the tiny details are even more telling than with a full length mystery but I will reiterate that it is just plain fun and had me guessing right up to the reveal.  As for Jonty and Orlando, well they are equally as fun, flirty, and more in love than ever.

Yep, Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code is a win win from the getgo! It has a little bit of everything, okay so there is no sci-fi or fantasy, but otherwise pretty much everything is here.  Mystery, romance, friendship, flirting, death, humor -- oh yeah, Miss Cochrane has done her readers proud with this addition to the Cambridge Fellows.  Speaking of the author, one of my favorite things about a Charlie Cochrane story is her attention to detail, to the little points that may or may not actually effect the mystery, and in the case of Cambridge her respect for the past just oozes off the page and yet the entertainment factor is never in jeopardy of being overshadowed by "getting it right".  Definitely a win win from cover to cover.

One last thing, for those who have never read Cambridge Fellows Mysteries before and are wondering if it is a series that has to be read in order? Well not really.  If you go to the author's website and look at the list, you'll notice that the series order isn't necessarily the chronological order.  Personally, I would highly recommend reading the first three or four in order because it helps to cement friendships with secondary characters but each entry is its own mystery so technically each one is a standalone.  However you choose to read it, if you are a mystery fan than don't let this series pass you by.


Jonty woke on St Bride’s day with a sense of foreboding, one which he couldn’t shake off, no matter how he tried telling himself not to be so stupid. Life didn’t resemble a mystery story, thank goodness, so it was highly unlikely that anyone would take advantage of the college festivities to commit murder most foul, having engineered themselves an ingenious and untraceable method of killing. The story of the night crawler and the book he’d been reading in bed had clearly been playing on his sub-conscious mind as he slept.

Over their ridiculously early breakfast he’d not been able to hide his unease from Orlando, who’d soon spotted something was wrong.

“It’s the old by the pricking of my thumbs thing. It’s totally illogical, on every ground, but I can’t persuade myself out of it, no matter how often I lecture myself, so please don’t try that one on me.”

“I wouldn’t dare.” Orlando patted his hand. “I’d also not discount your feelings. Some people have a knack of picking up little clues without being aware they’ve done so. I suspect you’re one, so maybe you’ve picked up something in the atmosphere. Some undergraduate with a particularly guilty expression on his face that he didn’t hide soon enough, an expression which you’ve unconsciously filed away.”

“Perhaps the night crawler himself?” Jonty smiled. “That’s possible. In which case I shall await the event with interest. Unless he’s loosened one of the gargoyles, of course, although Browne would have spotted if one of those had been rigged to fall. Having said that, an innocent prank might be welcome.”

Saturday Series Spotlight
Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3  /  Part 4

Author Bio:
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, predominantly historical romances/mysteries, but she's making an increasing number of forays into the modern day. She's even been known to write about gay werewolves - albeit highly respectable ones.

Her Cambridge Fellows series of Edwardian romantic mysteries were instrumental in seeing her named Speak Its Name Author of the Year 2009. She’s a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and International Thriller Writers Inc.

Happily married, with a house full of daughters, Charlie tries to juggle writing with the rest of a busy life. She loves reading, theatre, good food and watching sport. Her ideal day would be a morning walking along a beach, an afternoon spent watching rugby and a church service in the evening.


Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code #12.7