Cover Image: Dover One

Dover One

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If you want a book with a thoroughly disagreeable, lazy and rude main character then this is for you. Fans of Mick Herron's Jackson Lamb will instantly relate to the antihero of these books who you cannot help but enjoy for all his less savoury elements. Together with his long-suffering sidekick and colleague, the two provide a quick and enjoyable light read that makes you both smile and enjoy the clever unfolding of the solution to the crime.
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In this day and age of social and political unrest in so many places in the world, it is a bit difficult to put DOVER ONE into its proper place in history. Let's start out with the fact the overweight and poorly groomed Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover is not a very nice man. Then let's add a case in which he has no interest that centers around Juliet Rugg who is described as standing 5 feet, 3 inches tall in stiletto heels, and weighs in at 16 stone (that's 224 pounds in American - yes, I googled it). So we start out with an unattractive police inspector with a misogynistic attitude toward a potential victim. All of this would seem to place the action in the mid-twentieth century before the words 'political correctness' were ever spoken.

However, a thoroughly boorish and unlikeable protagonist does not necessarily make a book unreadable. In fact, once you wrinkle your nose at his characteristics several times, you will find that he is surrounded by the very essence of BBC mystery suspects.

First published over fifty years ago, DOVER ONE is a book of its time. The 1960s was a time of change, not all of which was acceptable to the post-WWII generation. Bits and pieces of the time are interspersed quite subtly throughout the novel. This subtlety makes the book somewhat timeless. Young, modern readers may have difficulty with concepts of being "on the phone" indicating whether or not one had landline in their home, but older folks, like myself will see this as a sign of those times.

The first half of DOVER ONE is pretty much dedicated to making you thoroughly dislike Wilfred Dover while introducing his sergeant, Charles Edward MacGregor, almost as a minor character hardly worth mentioning. Detective Sergeant MacGregor lives in the background but does all the actual work. The residents of Irlam Old Hall are a colorful lot; just the sort you would expect to find in an English village where class structure runs rampant.

I have always enjoyed reading books where inuendo rather than blatant four-letter words are used in delicate situations. The nod to human nature and frailty is given in this way here. 

Overall, DOVER ONE is a throwback to an earlier time. Once that is discerned, the case moves on apace. If I had thoughts of stopping this series at book one, I have certainly changed my mind.

The end of the book is priceless!
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Detective Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover of Scotland Yard is a fat lazy slob with little drive, ambition or talent for his calling. How he ever made it to his elevated rank is not explained, but in this early 1960’s procedural we follow this bumbling character as he investigates the disappearance of a young woman in the vicinity of a small rural town, assisted by his sergeant, who fortunately is both very patient and much more skilled.

Dover is a great character, and indeed there are a good variety of well described characters in this story. There is a wry humour running through it and the pace of the investigation is slow by modern standards, without the scientific progress of the last fifty years, which we tend to take for granted.

A pleasing and interesting story and a great central character, and I would be happy to read more of his investigations.

Thanks to Ferraro Books via Net Galley for the opportunity to read an advance review copy.
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What a waste of time Mr Dover is.  But what fun!  He lets others do all the work, takes the credit for things he did not do, but still somehow manages to solve the crime.  I loved reading this and figuring out how he was going to "solve" the crime!
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This was a farcical detective story with the main character who is the most unlikeable police Inspector you could ever imagine.  Regardless of this it was an entertaining story where the hapless sergeant, who does most of the work and the inspector finally solve the murder and trot off back to Scotland Yard.
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I'm happy I got this ARC because I discovered a new to me humorous and entertaining series.
Dover is the perfect anti-hero, he will make you laugh and you end loving him for all his imperfections.
The story is engrossing and entertaining, it aged well and it's an interesting depiction of an era.
I loved the quirky cast of characters and the plot.
Looking forward to reading the next instalment, it's highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Not for me, I'm afraid. I rarely give up on a book but I didn't make it to the end of this one. The pace was too slow and the characters were more like caracatures. The humour/quirkiness  just didn't work for me.
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An overweight, nymphomaniac teenage housemaid has vanished and Detective Inspector Dover is on the case… barely!

I have no idea how I managed to miss the Joyce Porter Dover series previously, as I am an avid fan of classic murder mysteries and also of humour, and this book has both.

D.I. Dover is what you would get if the Poirot books focused on Japp instead of Poirot.  And if Japp was large, lazy and thoroughly unpleasant to everyone he meets.  Oh, and incompetent. Even with the help of the – rather more palatable – Sergeant MacGregor, it is a wonder that Dover has ever managed to get a case solved, as his technique consists mainly of glowering at people and taking a nap.  I have never come across a character so completely unfazed by his own ineptness!

This series was originally published in the 60s, so obviously some aspects haven’t aged well, such as the attitudes towards women and foreigners.  However, this is surprisingly less noticeable than I had anticipated, being as how the main character loathes everyone indiscriminately and pretty much equally.

Instead I found myself increasingly amused and engaged by Dover’s antics – much like I would by an elderly pet that is a bit smelly and growls/hisses at everyone, but they are part of the family anyway and you just humour their little foibles).  I loved the clever tongue-in-cheek way the author tips the reader the nod regarding clues the brave detectives miss or dismiss, making the story almost an inside joke between writer and reader, with poor old Dover as the butt.

Fans of classic golden-era crime fiction (Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin and similar) will enjoy this mystery that has a similar plot structure and style, but with an added sly humour that updates the tone.


   He turned back to the telephone.  There was only one man for the job.  ‘I’ll send you one of my chief inspectors,’ he said.  ‘Good chap.  Name’s Dover.  I’ll get him down to you first thing in the morning.’
The Assistant Commissioner dropped the receiver back in place and grinned wickedly.  A man in his exalted position shouldn’t indulge in petty spite where his subordinates were concerned, but it was, oh, so pleasant to give way to these little human frailties, once in a while.
‘I’d love to see the old bugger’s face when he hears what he’s got landed with this time!’  The Assistant Commissioner chuckled happily to himself and picked up his phone again to send the good news down the line.

– Joyce Porter, Dover One

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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Fairly ordinary cosy crime tale set in the 1950s

This detective novel deals with the disappearance of a young lady from an estate in the 1950s. Inspector Dover and his sergeant investigate and solve the crime, discovering all sorts of skullduggery amongst the residents. The characters are a bit stereotypical and the plot moves along slowly but comfortably. The general effect is of a reasonable detective story but it’s nothing special. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This was definitely a different type of detective story. Dover is a little off beat and seems to make it up as he goes along. Thoroughly enjoyed the book which left you thinking did he really find the perpetrator ?
Can't wait to read volume two.
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I so enjoyed this one! I love British mysteries and even though this one was a bit ‘out there’, it was funny and filled with eccentric characters. Scotland Yard sends Wilfred Dover and Sgt. MacGregor to investigate a missing girl. Dover is arrogant, a slob, loves to eat, is lazy and does not care who he upsets. The characters are thoroughly enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I hadn't read the information about the author too closely and for quite some time I was wondering if this was a homage to the Golden Age detective fiction novel (albeit with a modern comical twist) or if it was the real thing. It turns out to be a 1960s revisit of the Golden Age of crime fiction and it's tremendous fun to read. Yes, there are a couple of outdated xenophobic references (or perhaps not so outdated any more?), but Inspector Dover is a magnificently curmudgeonly creation. He seems terribly lazy and incompetent, yet somehow gets to solve the mystery. Whether correctly or not, it's up to you the reader to decide.
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This book is such fun! Chief Inspector Dover, is annoying, opinionated, bone idle, irritable, lacks patience,is badly dressed and is full of bluster!. He states he does cerebral work, ( usually with his eyes closed!) alas for his superiors at Scotland Yard, Dover has loads of lucky guesses, that means  he hangs on to his job, whilst letting his assistant do all the leg work! 
Dover has been assigned to investigate the disappearance of Juliet Rugg, the young companion/ mistress of Sir John Counter. Juliet is also generous in her favours to most of the men in the small town of Creedon, and has a baby, whom she leaves with her mother whilst working. 
Where did Juliet go?. At 5 foot 3 ins, and weighing 16 stones, she cannot be easy to hide, yet is proving surprisingly elusive. The Police have performed searches and done interviews, with no results, step forward, Dover!! 
The story is written with the language of the 1950s / 1960s. Full of eccentric villagers, prejudices against unmarried mothers, Germans, although the drug element is surprisingly tolerated in this book, but perhaps access to hard drugs then, was more difficult, and misogynistic views , especially regarding the value of female Police officers!! The atmosphere is concerned with social status, and these dated views are humorous today. Although written in the 1960s, this style of writing harks back to the Golden Age of classic British Books. Was life simpler then? Careful interview techniques don't seem to work for Dover, they just serve to raise his blood pressure! 
A murder mystery, that all boils down to red or green nail polish. The clues are all there, the conclusion is certainally not run of the mill. Happy deducing, my fellow readers!!
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When Chief Inspector Dover andf Sergeant MacGregor are sent to Irlam Old Hall to investigate the disappearance of Juliet Rugg employed as a maid to Sir John they are not happy. There is no body and it is a friend of the Chief Constable that has requested they investigate.
As they reluctantly enquire without any hope of success questions and the private lives of the people on Irlam Old Hall Estate now deepen the investigation.
This is a book that shows not only the characters of the officers involved but their personalities told  rather tongue in cheek. An enjoyable read that keeps you guessing until the end
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Are all those tough private eyes with secrets sorrow stunning together? Having trouble keeping the girl sleuths who own coffee shops straight? Inspector Dover is like no other. He's small-minded, violent when he can gather the energy for it, greedy, self-centered, and downright unsanitary. But he's also surprisingly shrewd. 

Whether he pushes his poor subordinate, the fastidious MacGregor, into a conclusion based on many hours of work (while Dover eats and naps) or the answer bubbles up suddenly from his unconscious, Dover comes up with solutions often enough that his superiors at Scotland Yard can't get rid of him. 

In Dover One, an elderly man's pid companion has gone missing. The story has elements of a locked room mystery and a collection of quirky characters, but the real question is -- can Dover find an answer before he spontaneously combusts from irritation?

As the horrifying conclusion draws near, you'll be shocked and unbelieving, but you won't be able to stop reading. The plot is tightly woven, the writing is exceptional, and even the minor characters are thoughtfully developed.
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This book was first published in 1964 and Joyce Porter died in 1990, so it’s not from the Golden Age of detective stories, but it has a few echoes from that era.  How many detectives travel to the scene of the crime by train these days? Having said that, 99% of the novel could be contemporary.

A young woman has gone missing. The Assistant Commissioner of Scotland Yard seizes the opportunity to send one of his more “challenging” subordinates (and everyone who’s managed people will shiver at that description) to investigate. Chief Inspector Wilfrid Dover is unlike any other detective you have encountered. I know others have told you that, but it is true. He is a selfish, rude bully with no redeeming features. However, he is lucky and the crime is solved. Part of that luck is having Sergeant MacGregor as an assistant. MacGregor is your traditional keen and wise Number 2 seen in many series, c.f. Cromwell in George Bellairs’ Inspector Littlejohn books.  MacGregor is young and deemed to be “up and coming” by his superiors (other than Dover, who hates everyone) and does most of the hard work and all of the running around in the case.

Although this is the first book in the series, Porter has a great sense of humour. In Chapter One, we are told that Dover and MacGregor had worked together on a previous case. A footnote adds “Inspector Dover and the Spilt Milk – this case has not been and will not be published at any price.”

Although Inspector Dover is a unique character, the story proceeds on traditional lines. The woman is missing; a number of local characters are introduced; alibis are broken; clues are quietly slipped into the narrative – if you read it carefully, you can identify the guilty.  However, the book is a page-turner and you might, like me, not pay enough attention.  And, although there is humour throughout the book, I didn’t expect the denouement. 

I strongly recommend this book and will look out for the further books in the series.

#DoverOneAdoverMystery1 #NetGalley
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A most entertaining and enjoyable read. A case of a missing girl causes the local police to call in the help of a Scotland yard Detective. The story involves a most unattractive blundering gross DCI assisted by a young handsome long suffering DS with a cast of suspects that are brilliantly described leading to interviewing some fascinating  eccentric characters. However nothing at first sight is what it seems and the unravelling of their true characters provides the clue that solves the case in a sensational way.
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Thanks to Pete at Farrago I have once again had the opportunity for a satisfying, engaging read that I probably would not otherwise have stumbled upon.  Farrago Books seems to have a unique talent for digging up old British mysteries that provide a delightful peek into village life in the 1950’s and 1960’s with main characters that are not quite what you expect.  And underneath it all is a solid British police procedural.  I was first introduced to Colin Watson's Flaxborough series and enjoyed it so much I jumped at the chance to start the Inspector Dover series.  I’m glad I did.  These books are often irreverent, inappropriate, and an acquired taste but I think I’ve got the hunger.

There is absolutely nothing at all likeable about Chief Inspector Wilfred Dover.  He is rude, crude, lazy, slovenly, a total boor.  Think of all the undesirable traits a person might have and you have just described Inspector Dover.  And his sidekick, long-suffering Sergeant Charles Edward MacGregor is just the opposite.  Ambitious, ethical, thorough, empathetic.  You get the picture.  It seems Scotland Yard sent him to Creedshire to investigate the disappearance of Julia Rugg mainly to get him out of the way, but somehow he continues to get results.  And take all the credit for them.  

Dover One was first published in 1964, so things are probably a little different these days to say the least.  So the first thing you need to do when you start reading is to adjust your mindset to accept that the characters are universally repellant.  Don’t get bogged down looking for redeeming values, sudden personality changes, hidden admirable motives or politically correct views and language.  What you see is what you get.  Go along for the ride and enjoy it.  Don’t overthink it or try to compare this to contemporary novels.

One of the best things about the books Farrago keeps offering is the writing – even if you don’t like any of the characters, if the book seems dated at times or if you happen to figure out the mystery at the same time the police do, you will be captivated by the fine writing, the joyous use of words and the fabulous phrasing.  And even if you don’t want to, you will laugh.

The other best thing about these books from is that they are authentic mysteries with solid plots that have a definite beginning, middle, and end, a step-by-step murder investigation, an abundance of suspects and clues, some red herrings dropped along the way, and a solution that is not obvious.  And the writing.  Did I mention the excellence of the writing?

Again, many thanks to Pete at Farrago Books for offering me a copy of Dover One via NetGalley.  It was very enjoyable, humorously written with a supporting case of eccentric villagers.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
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An oldie but a goodie written in 1964 it still holds up today.A character a police officer who at first comes across as cranky but slowly he reveals a more human side..He is an entertaining amusing character zi really enjoyed this book.#netgalley #farragobooks.
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This was an extremely funny book which stayed short of ridiculous and was therefore a very enjoyable read.  I found the grumpy old Dover to be delightful and believable whilst not detracting from a very good mystery.  It shows how much I liked it _ I'm going to search out the next Dover mystery.
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