Severn House, 2014.

Review published Jul 2011.

Graham Ison served in the Royal Army, worked in Special Branch at Scotland Yard, and spent four years as protection officer to the Prime Minister. He has some 25 mysteries to his credit, about half of them historical mysteries set about a century ago and featuring Divisional Detective Inspector Ernest Hardcastle and his bag carrier, Detective Sergeant Charles Marriott.

By carefully describing the police procedure of 1918, Ison has shown us the differences in everyday life between then and now. Certainly the English were much more class conscious then; Hardcastle is conscious of his rank and willing to pull it. Marriott tags along, hears the same admonitions from his boss time and again, and quietly puts in suggestions that advance the case.

Most of all, the mystery fan who reads this will be aware of the tremendous gap in technology. Aside from fingerprints, there was little in the way of modern tools. It was somewhat easier to obtain warrants from a friendly magistrate, and other government agencies cooperated with the detectives willingly (after all, the Met does come under the Home Office.)