Friday Book: Death In the Old Country by Eric Wright

Death in the Old Country by Eric Wright © date 1985, Charles Scribner 1985 hardcover – mystery – 3rd Inspector Charlie Salter. (later paperback cover shown)

Death in the Old CountryAfter reading a review of this one, I decided I had to read it so I picked up a copy one afternoon at the library, and finished it that night. Now, it usually takes me two or three days to read even a moderately sized book – I’m not a fast reader – so for me to get through a 175 page book in an afternoon and evening is unusual, and an indication that (1) it’s an easy, entertaining book, and (2) I liked it quite a lot. I like that there a straight-forward plot, told in third person without any alternate points of view, flashbacks or anything else to detract from the story. Wright does a nice job with character, place, plot.

Death in the Old Country is about a Canadian homicide Inspector, Charlie Salter, who, with his wife Annie, is on holiday in England.

At a B&B that has excellent food and the weather socked in, they decide to stay an extra day or two to let the downpour subside before moving on to the Lake District. On their third day a murder occurs, and naturally Salter is pulled in, somewhat reluctantly, by the local coppers.

The plot contains some twists, and I saw the somebody-masquerading-as-somebody-else plot point coming from a distance, but that took none of the enjoyment out of the reading. I’m now looking to get the first in the series, The Night the Gods Smiled and read that one. I like Salter and want to read more of his adventures.

Update: I did read The Night the Gods Smiled and liked it a lot too.

Here’s the whole Charlie Salter Mysteries series:
The Night the Gods Smiled (1984)
Smoke Detector (1984)
Death in the Old Country (1985)
The Man Who Changed His Name, also published as A Single Death (1986)
A Body Surrounded by Water (1987)
A Question of Murder (1988)
A Sensitive Case (1990)
Final Cut (1991)
A Fine Italian Hand (1991)
Death by Degrees (1993)
The Last Hand (2001)

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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8 Responses to Friday Book: Death In the Old Country by Eric Wright

  1. Thanks for the review, Rick. I am going to look for his books. BTW – I am not one of the speed readers, either. But don’t call me slow. I am a “deliberate” reader.

  2. I have some Eric Wright mysteries, but haven’t gotten around to reading them. You make DEATH IN THE OLD COUNTRY sound so good, I want to drop everything and read it! Here’s the whole Charlie Salter Mysteries series:
    The Night the Gods Smiled (1984)
    Smoke Detector (1984)
    Death in the Old Country (1985)
    The Man Who Changed His Name, also published as A Single Death (1986)
    A Body Surrounded by Water (1987)
    A Question of Murder (1988)
    A Sensitive Case (1990)
    Final Cut (1991)
    A Fine Italian Hand (1991)
    Death by Degrees (1993)
    The Last Hand (2001)

    • Thanks, George, I had that in the draft of the post and… lost it. So I added your list back in. Start with the first one, as the characters grow. I like the interaction between Salter and his wife.

  3. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Man, you guys are way late here. I read these decades ago. I love Charlie Salter and liked this series a lot. I’ve also read a couple of semi-spinoff books and a collection of short stories (from Crippen & Landru, who else?) and a memoir (ALWAYS GIVE A PENNY TO A BLIND MAN) by Wright, who, like Salter (and Peter Robinson), was born in England and moved to Canada in adulthood.

  4. tracybham says:

    I have the second book in this series (Smoke Detector) and I am planning to read it soon. And I just checked and I have books #3 and #5 also. So I am all set to read more by this author. Thanks for the reminder.

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