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The Royal Baths Murder by J R Eliis - Review

Monday, March 7, 2022

As you know, I've enjoyed three of J R Ellis' DCI Oldroyd books previously, and knew I had two more to get to. I needed an easier book to read recently so started this. I find crime novels easy to read, especially if I know the main characters already. Plus you know I love a bit of Yorkshire in my novels!

This one is set in Harrogate. The local Crime Fiction festival is on (based on the real one) and at one event, a famous author called Damien Penrose comes up against some other writers. No one much likes him, and there's a group of writers who think he's plagiarised them and stolen plots from them. The confrontation carries on in the bar after the event, but then everyone settles down and goes to bed.

However, early the next morning Damien goes to the Royal Baths to swim and use the steam rooms, and he is then found dead in the hot room, strangled. The police are quickly called and they secure the area. The masseur and the receptionist are adamant that no one has come past them, but there's no way out of the baths below. Carter and Oldroyd start to investigate, finding that Damien had no shortage of enemies, including two ex wives and all the aforementioned authors. But it seems like while everyone had a motive, everyone also had an alibi. 

Oldroyd does his typical thing of spending a lot of time thinking about the case. He is also encouraged by his daughter to try online dating, and he ends up meeting a woman called Deborah. The two get on really well, but Oldroyd does then find himself in the middle of live crime scenes while she's about. 

Meanwhile, Stephanie Johnson, Oldroyd's other protege, is seconded to work under a DCI Fenton. She knows him of old, and his underlings, known as Cock and Bull. Fenton has a fondness for trying it on with women and it take him no time to try it on with Johnson. The two of them are sent to investigate an allegation of corruption within the local council, but Fenton quickly shuts down the investigation. Johnson is determined to find out why... 

I really liked this book, I read it really quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it and the mystery. For that, I'm giving it five out of five. 

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