As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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‘Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice’ by David Coubrough
Published by Peter Owen
Publishers, 18 April 2016. ISBN: 978-0-7206-1881-5
In 1972 when Grant Morrison was seventeen years old he and his family
along with many other guests who met up every year, was staying in a hotel near
St. Ives in Cornwall. One day their enjoyment was brought to an abrupt end when
the hotel porter was found poisoned. A few days later the body of one of the
guests was found washed up on the seashore. Were they accidental deaths or was
a murderer at large? To add to the mystery the last words the porter uttered
were “It was him” “Him from the hotel”. Five of the guests were thought to have
motives for the porter's poisoning but no one was ever charged and the police
dropped both the cases. Grant had always been troubled by the deaths,
especially as he knew his mother was having an affair with one of the suspects
and even provided him with an alibi.
Forty years later he decides he has had enough and
needs to find some answers, even if it’s just to make sure his mother had
nothing to do with it.
However, someone is obviously trying to put him off as
when he goes to Cornwall to try and solve the mysteries, he feels he is being
followed and experiences some frightening episodes at the hotel where he is
staying. Plus, why does he keep hearing someone singing “Half a Pound of
He meets up with friends, also teenagers in 1972, all
of whom stayed at the same hotel, and together with their help, solves the long
This was a good observation of human nature and makes
for interesting reading. It was great to have just ordinary people from everyday
life looking into the suspicious deaths and it I found it easy to put myself in
The Cornish landscape was really brought to life and
made me want to go back there .
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
David Coubrough founded the specialist hospitality company Portfolio
Recruitment in the 1980s and twice sold it to public companies, on the second
occasion becoming Chief Executive of the PLC. He is on the Board of Governors
of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and is a past Chairman of Bespoke Hotels
and the Castle Hotel at Taunton. He is a Director of Maldon Sea Salt and is on
the Board of Bloomsbury Properties. He co-owns the Beehive pub and Restaurant
in Berkshire and is now immersed in writing his second novel.
I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I
play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love
is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for
plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots
of great new authors.