‘Crossing The Line’ by Isabella Muir
Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?
Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.
National news reports of a missing 12-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase “stranger-danger” filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.
As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?
‘Crossing the Line’ is the perfect listen for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavour. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favourites set in the 1960s – ‘Endeavour’, George Gently, and ‘Call the Midwife’.
Purchase Link – http://viewbook.at/CrossingtheLineaudio
I only came across the work of Isabella Muir fairly recently. I wrote positively of the third Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. https://pajnewman.com/2021/02/09/aunty-and-niece-on-the-case
However, I have to say, that I think I enjoy this departure, Crossing the Line, the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, even more than the doings of young Janie Juke.
It may be because I used to live in Hastings and, therefore, know Bexhill-on-Sea quite well. Never discount nostalgia as a reason for liking something (although the sixties had been over for a while before I moved there).
It maybe because Charles Johnston does such a fine job narrating this twisty audiobook, imbuing encounters with a quiet menace and capturing that Agatha Christie-like undercurrents that Isabella Muir writes so well.
Or it might be because, in Giuseppe Bianchi, Muir has created a well-intentioned, quietly dignified and rather charming detective who carries his heavy emotional burden while investigating the shocking death on the seafront.
It might be all three. Whatever, Muir has created a scenario to test her fish out of water detective to the core and this taut tale will engage all readers who like historical fiction, the Golden Age writers and fans of the south east.
I’m already looking forward to the second instalment.
Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.
Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.
Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.
Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.
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