This week I’ve been reading Ian Sansom’s “The Norfolk Mystery“, the first in a new series intended to cover all the counties of England. Set in the 1930s, our hero is a young man newly returned from the Spanish Civil War. His life is on a downward trajectory until he sees an advertisement for an assistant to the “People’s Professor”, Swanton Morley.
Morley, a polymath and autodidact, is possibly the most irritating character in English fiction, which allows for plenty of comedy but also for moments when you have to grit your teeth in order to be able to finish the book. The murder itself is overshadowed by Morley – everything is. A well-written detective story, but I can’t help worrying about Mr Sansom, and whether his new creation will overpower him entirely.