The Automobile Assassination

A 1940s mystery (The Erdington Mysteries Book 2)

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Pub Date 25 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 03 Dec 2021

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A 1940s mystery

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.

Called to the local morgue where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.

Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

A 1940s mystery

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a...

Advance Praise

Praise for The Custard Corpses

""Excellent plot, great story, had me gripped loved the ending and was left wanting more. The book title made me smile and I did wonder why such a title read the book & you will see why.""

""Don't start this one before you go to bed, you'll be up all night wanting to read ""just one more chapter."" Great read not to be missed."" Netgalley Reviewer

""I loved this unmissable book! It was impossible to walk away from. I literally caught myself holding my breath a few times. There are so many interesting bits I'm dying to mention but won't! All mystery readers definitely need to read this. I cannot possibly recommend it enough and am salivating at the mention of the next."" Netgalley Reviewer 

""This has a fabulous plot, is suspenseful, tense & totally unputdownable. Full of unexpected twists & turns, this was an absolute gem of a book & I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to read it before publication. I'm on the understanding that this is the authors first foray into writing a mystery, let's hope this isn't the last."" Netgalley Reviewer

""MJ Porter created a masterful plot full of suspense and twists that kept me up reading late into the night."" Netgalley Reviewer"

Praise for The Custard Corpses

""Excellent plot, great story, had me gripped loved the ending and was left wanting more. The book title made me smile and I did wonder why such a title read the book &...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781914332869
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Featured Reviews

Another stupendous tale in this amazing mystery series! As the war continues and turns in favour of the allies, Detective Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station’s reputation precedes him; having solved the puzzling case of The Custard Corpses his help is sought in another seemingly impossible investigation. Along with Sergeant O’Rourke he is tasked with finding out what happened to the latest unidentified body – one where rigor has set in with the corpse doubled over in a strange position. What on earth happened – and who was this man? Mason doesn’t want another long running cold case on his hands and so pulls out all the stops to get to the bottom of things and a visit to the local aerodrome seems to be a good place to begin. It’s fair to say that I loved the first book in this series; there is something about mysteries which take place before modern investigating methods came into being. Footwork is the name of the game, and Mason and O’Rourke do plenty of it in this second novel. It’s great to see more of O’Rourke – at a time when women were very much the underdogs in society she is making great strides in her career and is a perfect pairing with Mason. They have a great camaraderie and I look forward to many more novels and seeing their relationship strengthen. Another gripping read and an almost impossible case to solve kept me glued to my kindle from start to finish. This is an author who knows how create characters and a story which draws the readers in and yet leaves no stone unturned come the final page. Beautifully written and absolutely recommended with a definite 5* from me. My thanks to the author who alerted me to the imminent release of this second book when I recently reviewed the first, and to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

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The Automobile Assassination by MJ Porter is an engrossing WWII novel and the Automobile Association, which is engrossing in itself. The premise for the association is that they would have a lock box every 15 miles on all roads in Great Britain. With a paid membership, one would receive a key to the lock box, which would contain of tin of gasoline, a map, and a telephone. Service people would ride routes, no further apart than 15 miles, providing assistance, as needed. With the war, the service people are fewer, expansion of the network has ceased, and maps are to have been pulled out of the boxes. Somehow the association has been drawn into murder, but it is a complex mystery waiting for Mason and O'Rourke to figure out. Help comes, but it is slow in coming and often seems nothing more that a jumble of unrelated puzzle pieces. Mason is getting older and his back and leg hurt most of the time. He is no longer nimble or strong. That is why he has O'Rourke. She drives, she climbs up and down, and she loads the car, and she loves every minute of it. This is a complicated mystery, until it isn't. It is not a fast-paced read, but it is for a serious reader. Porter writes an interesting book. She normally writes Middle Ages fiction but has this one "modern" series. The first book was a very interesting crime, which haunts Mason to this day. He doesn't want to be remembered for it, but doesn't want to be remembered for not being able to solve this one, and it shows in his ferreting out the truth. His is a character well-written and relatable. I enjoyed every minute of it. I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Automobile Assassination by MJ Publishing, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #mjpublishing #mjporter #theautomobileassassination

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I really loved the war-time setting and the mystery behind the murder (the victim was found in a 'weird' position). A dash of quirk makes the story interesting. The only niggle I had with this story was, I couldn't connect with the characters.

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The Automobile Assassination by M J Porter is the second in the series about Chief Inspector Mason and Sergeant O'Rourke of Erdington Police Station. After having successfully solved The Custard Corpses, they are tasked with solving the mystery of a deceased male whose body found bent double. With the body near the aerodrome at Castle Bromwich, there is speculation of him being a spy. The whole Automobile Association confused me at first because they were talking about motorcycles. It was helpful to read the author's note about the history of Automobile Association and motorcycles. It was surprising that nobody recognized the corpse or reported him missing. There is a lot going on in this book with the counterfeit ration books, the sentry boxes of the Automobile Association, the description of the war effort, and as always, Superintendent Smythe trying to move up the social/work ladder. I really loved the writing style and how the author was able to twist and turn the plot. I still can't figure out how Patrolman Grant from the Automobile Association was so clueless, but maybe I missed something. I liked how Mason regretted Smythe turning the counterfeiting case over to him and how he felt Sergeant Jones was making progress in it. Jones seemed more likeable this time around. I feel like Mason's wife doesn't like him much and she doesn't seem very likable, but she could be a product of her times. O'Rourke is great in how she shows compassion in dealing with Mason's aches and pains, yet still defers to him because of their ranks. I hope there are more books in this series! Thank you NetGalley and M J Publishing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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M.J. Porter has written another excellent police procedural novel with a fascinating and highly original plot. The police team is based in Erdington, at the time - 1944 - a still largely rural suburb of Birmingham. There is an evocative sense of place and time throughout the story. The intricacies of the plot and its many twists and turns are delivered in a much more assured manner than in the first novel in the series. The characterization is a particular strong point and there's lots of scope for developing this further as the series progresses.

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A compelling and entertaining historical mystery that kept me hooked. I loved the descriptions of everyday life during WWII and loved the solid mystery that kept me guessing. The characters are fleshed out and relatable, the complex plot flows. Recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine

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Erdington, Britain, 1944. The war has everyone in the community very weary with prolonged rationing and the tragic effects it has had on peoples' lives. This is the backdrop against which Mason and O'Rourke find themselves doing their job as police detectives with empathy, pride, humor and humility. Two cases are currently challenging the Erdington police. One is the proliferation of counterfeit ration coupons and the other is the discovery of the body of an unidentified man. Chief Inspector Mason is pulled from the counterfeit investigation to try and discover the identity of the dead man and how he died. But, he is distracted from this case by also being dispatched to deal with seemingly minor vandalism of the sentry stations belonging to the Automobile Association. Learning about the automobile associations in which driving enthusiasts were members during this historical period was surprisingly one of my favorite things about this book. It is something I knew absolutely nothing about and puts a very fun and interesting spin on this WWII mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed this second book of the Erdington Mysteries series. I thank the publisher, Books Go Social, for this copy of the ebook via NetGalley.

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