Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 07 Jan 2019

Member Reviews

A literary agent is dead from a fall out the window - or is it a 'fall'  And we're off and running with the best 'firm' in Britain.  The characters are well developed and have become family for many of us.  As always, there are many suspects, so there's lots of work for the detectives to slog through.  This title may not be the best in the series but it's always a treat to be back with this cast of characters.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  If you are a fan of classic British mysteries that have a good story and subtle humour, you will enjoy this book.  When a highly successful literary agent dies from a tumble from his office window into a construction site beside his house, the first reaction is “oops”.  Higher ups try to convince DCI Slider to rubber stamp a verdict of accidental death.  The aging agent has a very young girlfriend and there are powers who want to make sure she is not involved in a negative way.
Once it is determined the cause of death was murder, the reader is forgiven if they think this waste of space might have been guilty.  Certainly the police endeavour to work their way around the case without putting her under the microscope.  It seems our deceased is a serial seducer but all his lady loves seem to hold him in high regard...or do they.
It is a great story with wonderful colourful characters.  It earns a full five purrs and two paws.
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by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Severn House

Severn House Publishers

Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 01 Feb 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Headlong through Severn House and Netgalley:

One of London’s most popular Literary agents is found dead, under suspicious circumstances, having gone headfirst out of his office window.  DCI Slider is being pressured by the Burrough Commander to confirm it’s an accidental death but the evidence points to murder.  Slider and his team uncover some dark secrets from Ed Wiseman’s past.

Many had reason to hold a grudge against the late literary agent, a bitterex wife, a mistress he disgarded a frustrated aspiring author as well as a  disgruntled former employee.  But are any of them angry enough to kill him.  The leads only seem to bring up more questions.  Including the identity of Calliope Hunt?  Who is she?  What’s her connection to this horrible events?

I give Headlong five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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HEADLONG (PolProc-Bill Slider-England-Contemp) - VG
	Harrod-Eagles, Cynthia – 11th in series
	Severn House – 2018
First Sentence:  Slider jumped into the car, and Atherton peeled away from the kerb and back in the traffic in a movement so sleek and smooth, a dolphin would have tried to mate with it.
	A famous literary critic's body is found in the cellar of the construction site next door to his home.  Although DCI Bill Slider's Borough Commander would like a quick verdict of "accidental death" to close the case and gives strict orders that unknown Calliope Hunt is not to be questioned, Slider isn't convinced the death was an accident.  A plethora of possible suspect means Slider and his team have their work cut out for them, while Bill is also concerned about is wife and truly dealing with being a father.
	The very first sentence demonstrates why Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is such a pleasure to read.  For having a way with words, she has no equal.  Her metaphors are wonderful and perfect—'One hundred-and fifty-plus years represents a lot of history for a building, and in value and status these had gone up and down like a Harrods lift at sale time.' She slips in delightful bits of humor along the way—"'I expect you're wondering why you're here,' said Carpenter.  Existentialism at this hour of the morning? Various facetious answers flitted through Slider's mind…"And then there's Porson, Slider's boss, and the king of a malaprop—'Too many thieves spoil the broth.  It all gets … wafty.'
	That CH-E has set the story amongst the world of publishing is fun.  One does suspect that the characters represent people she has known, or that they are an amalgamation of them.  She really does provide a fascinating look into that world.  Harrod-Eagles is also very good with details and with setting the scene.  She describes the location in which the characters find themselves placing one right alongside them.  
	The "what's wrong with tis picture" scenarios are so well done and can cause one to consider the details of one's own, everyday life. It's the forensic details that determine the path of the plot—it is a mystery, after all—but still, it is nicely done, and the devils advocate banter between Slider and Atherton is clever and more realistic, in some ways, than were it one character with internal musings.  One can also appreciate that although Slider and Atherton are the leads, there is a realism in the way Slider's team is an ensemble cast with each having their role in the investigation.  
	The realness of the story is satisfying and understandable; possible problems at home, possible reassignment at work.  These are things to which one can easily relate.  She also presents a very realistic view of a police investigation as often being a hard slog of minutia and focusing on the mundane. How well done is it that when the killer is exposed, one almost feels sympathy for them.
	"Headlong" isn't a book of gunfire or car chases, but of great characters and solid police work with an ending to make one smile.
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This is a classic police procedural, where the focus of the story revolves around the main protagonist, Bill Slider, who heads up the murder squad. As the investigation progresses, we discover more facts about the dead man and his life. And along the way, we also get a ringside seat into Bill Slider’s life, too. I like the fact that he is married with a small son and between them, they sometimes struggle with childcare when work builds up. I also like the fact that he is happily married and a concerned boss who tries to do the best for the team working under him. He isn’t magnificently defiant to his irritable bosses, either. He keeps his head down and his sour thoughts to himself, which nonetheless make entertaining reading.

At the heart of the story is the murder, of course. And Harrod-Eagles once more delivers a nicely twisty mystery with all sorts of plausible suspects that give us interesting glimpses into the publishing world. I didn’t see the resolution coming, but it made absolute sense and I was also very taken with the sudden domestic bombshell that emerged at the end of the book, too.

Any niggles? Well, just one – there were some rather flashy noirish phrases in the early stages of the book that caught my attention, until they completely disappeared around the halfway mark. There should be either more of them, or none at all. That said, I’m conscious that this is an arc, so this issue may have been fixed by the time this book comes to publication. Recommended for fans of intelligent, well-written murder mysteries with not too much gore.

While I obtained an arc of Headlong from the publisher via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.
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Slider and his team were given a simple case - determine if a fall killed a literary agent or not. This being a police procedural, of course it was no accident. But then who was the killer? There were plenty of suspects - jealous boyfriends/husbands, an ex-wife, old girlfriends with benefits, not to mention a former employee or disappointed writers. Plenty of motives, but the trick to solving the case came with attention to details and discovering the murder weapon which lead to the killer. Another satisfying read from Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.
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Thanks to NetGalley for providing an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I love me some Cynthia Harrod-Eagles mysteries. Slider is affable, Atherton is a silky lout, MacDowell eats a lot of sausage rolls. They are as constant as the tide, and I get into these books like they are comfy slippers.

The usual players are in fine form this time around, and the story starts off well. It's a complicated web that's woven: the deceased perhaps? met with an accident. He was sort of a tomcat, but the sort everyone loves in spite of themselves. But then it becomes clear that his death was not accidental - could it be that some jealous husband finally lost it on him and went further than a bonk on the nose? And what of that young, wealthy It-Girl he was spending so much time with, despite the fact that he could be her dad?

Unfortunately, this time around I guessed who did it, which almost never happens to me when reading anything (I'm very good about not reading ahead, even), so it strikes me that it must have been blindingly obvious to more astute readers (which would be the majority of them). That dampened my ardor, and that, along with the lack of believability (if that's a word, which spellcheck tells me definitely isn't, but you get my meaning) surrounding the relationship with the young woman kind of killed the book for me at the very end. Still an enjoyable read, nonetheless, for all the reasons stated above (but I think that Ms. Harrod-Eagles can do, and has done, much better).
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Headlong by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is the 21st in the DCI Bill Slider series however it does read well as a standalone. Ed Wiseman, a 67-year-old literary agent, is found dead in the construction site next to his home and office. The death is deemed accidental in the beginning of the investigation but soon looks like murder. DCI Slider's bosses pressure him to keep the whole thing out of the newspapers and to resolve the case quickly. The potential list of suspects soon grows due to the fact that Ed Wiseman was very popular with the ladies, all of the ladies. This is a good old-fashioned police procedural that flows well and is entertaining. I look forward to reading other novels in the series. Highly recommended. Thank you to Severn House and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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When Ed Wiseman, one of London's best-known literary agents, dies after a headlong fall from his office window into a nearby construction site, Detective Chief Inspector Bill Slider is under pressure from the Borough Commander to confirm a case of accidental death. But the evidence and autopsy soon indicate Wiseman was murdered. Slider and his team find plenty of potential suspects and scandalous secrets in the victim's past. These include Wiseman's ex-wife, some past lovers, a frustrated would-be author, and a disgruntled former employee. But would any of them feel strongly enough to kill Wiseman? And then there is the forbidden subject of the mysterious Calliope Hunt. Who is she and what is her connection to Wiseman? Slider and his team systematically eliminate each of the suspects and it is up to Slider to confront the killer into making a confession. On the personal front, Slider's wife Joanna is peeved about something and the puzzled husband has to walk a delicate balance to keep things happy on the homefront.

This was another solid and enjoyable entry in the long-running DCI Slider police procedural series. 

I received an eARC via Netgalley and Severn House with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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Ed Wiseman may have been a big deal literary agent but he was not a nice man.  DCI Bill Slider and DS Jim Atherton find themselves up against a brick wall when they try to untangle the man's life and identify his murderer.  This is a fairly typical procedural which is enlivened by the relationship between Slider and Atherton.  I'd not read others in the series but that wasn't a problem- this was fine as a standalone.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Always a pleasure to work out the answers along with the detectives.
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House for allowing me to preview this book. 
   This is a British police procedural starring Detective Inspector Bill Slider, the latest in a long series. I was excited to read it, as I have been a fan of this series for years. The characters are realistic and likeable, and the writing is crisp and full of dry humor. I especially like the way the Chief Inspector always uses Spoonerisms when he talks, and all of the chapter titles are puns.
   In this case, a famous literary agent has seemingly taken a nose dive from his window, and Bill Slider and his team must decide if it was an accident or something more sinister. Of course, it becomes clear that he was murdered, and then the team must interview all of his associates to determine who helped him out the window. How DI Slider figures out whodunit is quite ingenious, and the very end of the book is satisfying. 
   I would urge anybody who likes police procedurals, whodunits, and humorous mysteries to try this series.
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In "Headlong," the latest DCI Bill Slider and DS Jim Atherton book from Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, they’ve been called to the scene of what appears to be an unfortunate accident, and as the deceased was an important society figure, it seems like a no-brainer to keep the publicity from getting out of hand.  Slider’s boss says it’s an accident.  The big big boss says it’s an accident.  So why does Bill Slider have that feeling that they’re wrong?   That Ed Wiseman didn’t fall out of his apartment window “by accident.” Because he’s Bill Slider, that’s why. Slider sees things at the crime scene that bother him, and he takes the reader right along with him.  He has to explain all this to his boss, of course.  It does not go well.  But given Ms. Harrod-Eagles’ penchant for humor -- check the chapter headings – he gets to utter a version of the famous line – “he didn’t fall – he was pushed.”  And of course, this being our Bill, in his 21st case, he’s right.  The game’s afoot.

The deceased has a reputation as quite the ladies’ man.  There’s an ex-wife, and lots of girlfriends.  Did he ruffle someone’s girlish feathers, anger a jealous husband, or not come through with enough royalties for one of his authors (as a famous literary agent, that’s ground for murder, right there).    Everyone loved him, says all the witnesses -- male and female.  Well, somebody didn’t, says Bill. 
The author is a master at presenting compelling murderous scenarios, likely suspects, building up alibis, truths, and lies. There’s the aforementioned friends, employees, and ex-lovers.  Throw in a disgruntled wannabe writer, who’s crazy enough to have done it.  And then there’s the Latest Young Thing who’s got a book she’s shopping around -- and to whom dear old Ed became smitten.  What’s a DCI to do?  Keep digging, of course, through lots of interviews and discussions of timelines.   Finally, a witness provides information about a vital piece of evidence, and the wheels of justice grind to a satisfying ending.

In between we get a look at the Slider/Atherton home life, with Joanna and Emily.  The little things that make these books so wonderful to read.  Atherton’s still torn between settling down and not settling down.  Bill and Joanna still juggle what the roles of father and mother should rightfully be, when both have important careers.  That readers will care about all this after so many books is a testament to the author’s skill.

There’s news on the Slider home front, too, which I look forward to hearing more about.  And maybe, just maybe, Jim Atherton will finally make up his mind.

Thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for a copy of the book in advance of publication, in exchange for this review.
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Refreshingly old-fashioned police procedural

This is the eleventh in the author’s Bill Slider series and follows a tried and tested formula with a familiar group of police characters.

The chapter titles are pithy, and the novel is dusted with a generous selection of imaginative analogies; to whit, ‘Atherton peeled away from the kerb and back into the traffic in a movement so sleek and smooth, a dolphin would have tried to mate with it’, (first paragraph).

When a famous literary agent is found dead three floors below an open window, the top brass is anxious to have the case wrapped up quickly as an unfortunate accident.  This is not, however, Slider's way and once he gets the bit between his teeth, the only question is whether the victim jumped or was pushed.

With an eclectic mix of ‘interested parties' and Slider's sensitive family life, this novel has plenty of tension and mystery to keep the reader interested, and it moves along at a brisk trot.

Altogether a pleasant change from the grittier crime novels which pepper the genre. If you like good, old-fashioned policing, you will enjoy this enormously.


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles holds the publishing world to the magnifying glass in book 21 of her Bill Slider series. 

The dead man, a successful literary agent in his 60's, was desperate to publish a "Gone Girl" imitation for a Generation Z hottie he hoped to marry. Slider is prohibited from interviewing the hottie because of her connection to a police higher-up's wife. Instead, the crew inventively interview most of the victim's other clients and their significant others.

Slider's ensemble's unique ways of dealing with suspects, spiced with his boss's Spoonerisms and his delight in time spent with toddler George, are just as entertaining as the case.
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A good, solid police procedural and the discovery of a new good series.
It's the first one I read in this series and was really happy to have read it.
It was engaging and entertaining, a well written and with likable cast of characters.
The mystery was good, no plot hole, and it keep you guessing till the end.
I look forward to reading another installment in this series.
Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC
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Edward Wiseman, a well-known literary agent is found dead at a construction project next door to his home. DCI Bill Slider is assigned to the case and department brass wants it determined to be accidental death as soon as possible. However, Slider can't ignore his hunch that Wiseman is a victim of murder.

I've read many of the books in this long-running series, but the book would be just as enjoyable to readers who are new to the series. The clever title fits the murder and is also the title of a book Wiseman wanted to publish before his untimely death. This is just one example of the author's expertise with language. The book is filled with witty language and wordplay, especially in the banter between Slider and his friend and colleague DS Jim Atherton. 

The case featured in the story is interesting, with more than one viable suspects. There was one aspect that seemed unbelievable to me in that a key witness was off limits for questioning, due to her tie to a department bigwig. Other than that, I was engaged in the case and was surprised at the outcome.

This series has always shown a nice mix of Slider's work and home life. This book in particular realistically deals with balancing work and family when both parents have a career outside the home, and I enjoyed this aspect of the story. There are surprises on the personal side in the book that I look forward to see play out in future books.

I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of Severn House. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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I've enjoyed a couple of these mysteries, and this one wasn't bad, but was not as good as the others I've read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House Publishing for an eGalley of this novel.

I'm not sure exactly how many Bill Slider mysteries there are in this series, but I've never had any problem with knowing where the characters stand even if I read the books out of chronological order. If you enjoy this one as much as I did you will be glad to know you have many other novels left to explore.

This is a straightforward police procedural and readers get to find and evaluate the evidence right along with the members of Detective Chief Inspector Slider's team. The first thing the team has to figure out is how this death happened so they will know if they are investigating an accident, a suicide, or a murder. Forensic evidence answers that question so now comes the task of untangling a motive for murder of a man that everyone seems to have held in such high regard. Watching that information come to light was a rewarding reading experience.

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is one of my favorite authors and in her books I often find something that makes me smile. In this one Slider is thinking that he doesn't have time to read many books, but when he does read one "he liked something where the plot unfolded in a straight line and the action didn't jig back and forth between characters, times and sometimes even dimensions". Interestingly enough that happens to be the type of mystery novels I prefer to read also. Even more interestingly, that is exactly the style of writing you will get from a Cynthia Harrod-Eagles novel. It's always nice when things work out like that.
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Cynthia Harrod-Eagles’ DCI Slider series is one of my favorite reads. The author has an uncanny ability of understanding the peculiarities of both men and women and using them to create an excellant modern Crime fiction. Incorporating the challenging demands of work and family life into her stories make them more appealing. The reader can experience the joys and hardships that the police force feels while trying to solve a crime. I particularly liked this story since it allowed me to learn about writers and the literal world of their agents.

My critique was based an ARC that was provided by the publisher via Netgalley.
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Another great Bill Slider book.  I not only love the mystery, I love the great relationships between the characters and the dry British humour.
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