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Publisher's Summary

A delicious 1940s mystery.

Birmingham, England, 1943.

While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights.

Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since.

But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over 25 years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.

©2021 M J Porter (P)2021 M J Porter

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  • Susan Patterson
  • 18-08-2021

Riveting!

Well-written. Held my attention throughout!

Matt Coles did a great job narrating.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 22-08-2021

"Every little helps."

The twentieth anniversary of the unsolved murder of young Robert McFarlane brought his surviving sister, Rebecca, to the police station as always: there was still no news for her. In fact, the original officer in charge of the case was long gone, his successor Sam Mason as regretful as he had been that the killer had never been found. But this time Rebecca brought a news article form another part of England, marking the anniversary of a second killing, three years after that of Robert, but sounding similar in several ways. The perpetrator in this case had also never been found. Sam investigates and decides that there is enough to reopen both as a cold case with a single murderer.

The Custard Corpses is a totally fictional police procedural investigation set in England during the later years of World War Two with mentions of the bomb damage and other wartime true life experiences as backdrop. I personally enjoyed the inclusion of the magazine beloved by Sam's wife, Picture Post. Starting in 1939 under the editorship of Tom Hopkinson, a friend of mine now sadly dead some thirty years, it was a weekly pictorial magazine, the first to feature stories about ordinary people, not just the famous and aristocracy. It's still enjoyable to read, a real life of-it's-moment slice of history.

Narration by Matt Coles was well paced and modulated with various accented voices for the several protagonists across Britain: only Hamish, the chap who came down from Scotland, didn't quite ring true. But overall, a good performance.

This is an enjoyable of mix of historic facts overlaid by a really interesting murder hunt police procedural, well worth reading by anyone who enjoys the careful search for clues in cases which seem long lost and forgotten. It is an exciting paper chase with colourful historic facts along the way. truly delicious. And what a great title! My thanks to the rights holder of The Custard Corpses, who, at my request freely gifted me with a complimentary copy via Audiobook Boom. Recommended.

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  • Linda Gilmore
  • 09-09-2021

very entertaining

Kept me interested in the story performance was better the ending was in climatic






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  • Jules
  • 21-08-2021

Captivating story....

The cover was what attracted me to the book in the first place. Which is something that's more pertinent than you would think until you've read it.

The story was gripping, and it took effort to not listen to it in one sitting. A good story is riveting. A good story that has ties to your own town, with places and things you know, is even more so. The plot is believable and incredibly well thought out. The characters are likeable, ordinary, people with, for the 1940s, a lot of biscuits. Matt Coles did a fabulous job of the narration, although his accents need work.

My family live in Weston, so as soon as I heard the words 'Weston Mercury' the story took on a whole new relevance. My granddaughter, who is of a similar age to Antony, goes to Walliscote Road School.... In the 1940s, my grandmother would have been a young mother with four small children, with her husband away fighting in the war, and bombs dropping around her.

All of these facts brought atmosphere and an added shiver to the story for me but, even without them, this is a brilliant book.

I do hope M J Porter writes more mysteries because, with this as their first attempt, further books will be unmissable.....

1 person found this helpful

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