So this book was really good. What I liked best though was that I started to put it together that the Inspector Dew was actually very famous and started reading up on him last night. And then I read up on Dr. Crippen and then I found out that Netflix’s series “Murder Maps” did an actual episode on this guy and I just continued to fall down a rabbit hole.
“The False Inspector Dew” follows two people who will do anything to be together. The first character is Alma Webster who has fallen madly in love with her dentist, Walter Baranov. Walter is married to a an actress, Lydia, who doesn’t really care about him. When Lydia decides to leave England in order to become an American film star with Walter also having to give up his dentist practice to follow her, Walter and Alma make moves to eliminate Lydia. With Lydia setting sail on the Mauretania, Walter books passage under a false name (Inspector Dew) in order for him and Alma to get rid of Lydia. Things get tricky though when a woman’s body is found in the water and Inspector Dew (Walter) is called on to help figure out who the murderer is.
First off, I disliked Walter and Alma. I was actively rooting against them. Of course I ended up laughing though because for all of their machinations, things keep getting worse for the pair. And I have to say that Lovesey did a good job with the secondary characters since they feel like they came out of a Christie novel at times.
I did enjoy the writing and it resembled Agatha Christie a bit, though I have to say that Christie is more able to get me into people’s heads. For some reason I felt slightly apart from Walter and Alma throughout the book. This is the main reason why I gave this book four stars.
The setting of this book is 1920s Europe. We have a lot going on during this time period and we hear about real life things like Dr. Crippen, Charlie Chaplin, the sinking of the Lusitania. This was a nice murder mystery on a boat and definitely reads like a golden age mystery.
I thought the ending was quite clever and thought that Lovesey did a great job with this. For those who knows what happens with the real Dr. Crippen and Inspector Dew, you can guess at what eventually happens to all parties.
I read this for the “History/Schmistory” square sine this book takes place during the 1920s and actually talks about real life events and people (Dr. Crippen, Inspector Dew, Charlie Chaplin, etc.)