I quite agree with Webstar on his opinion about the ending. Although, the gradual unfolding of the mystery was brilliant and dynamic, at the end when the underlying mystery suddenly began to reveal, it turned out to be a dull and mediocre ending.
The plot was creative enough, but I wish the writing had been creative like the plot. The writing was too descriptive, as if I was reading a text book.
Mystery genre shouldn't be a field which this author should try, because certainly it failed. The characters were built weakly and with the flow of the story characters rather weaken their impact, specially that of detective Flexen, Mr. Manely and James Hutchings.
The story opens with the events of Lord Loudwater, portrayed as an ill-tempered person whom everyone hates for his bad manners. The mystery begins with the murder of him and in search of the murderer. As usually found in mediocre detective novels, a few characters visited the victim at the time of murder, which implicates them to be the suspected and the story flows onward to unfold each of their motives until the murderer is found.
At the end, although the murderer was found, it was the detective who let the murderer go free due to not having enough evidences to provide in the trial against the murderer, which rather is a weak and dumb portrayal of the detective character. The author also tried to send a vibe to the readers that the murderer did rather a 'service' by murdering ill-tempered Lord Loudwater and I really loathe this vibe of author. A murder can no way be justified for the ill manners of a person.
Actually, it's not a full mystery genre, it's more like a drama genre.
I do not recommend this because you will find far better mystery stories than this one to spend your valuable leisure time.
Absolutely mind-boggling, wonderfully plotted and certainly worth reading. However, to my opinion, author could have make any other character guilty other than ...let's say his name is X. Sorry I can't disclose criminal's identity now. Taking consideration of prospective readers I don't want to spoil their excitement.
But I really don't approve of X being guilty becuase his motive behind the crime was not wicked at all. Basically it is a 5 star novel. Anyways, I'm giving 4 stars because I think there were more wicked characters than X who deserved to be guilty.
Quite enjoyable for juvenile readers. Nice and smooth flow of the story won't let you bored.