The Vanishing Lord
The second in Lucy Brazier’s Portergirl series is another hilarious, yet extremely witty and intelligent mystery story set in Cambridge College.
The female Deputy Head Porter springs into action when the portait of Lord Layton mysteryiously disappears. Asked for discretion in her investigation this is far from easy and straight forward.
Academic politics, personal conflicts and saving face come into play as well as the secret investigation takes place.
The book’s main strengths are the quirky and often excentric characters and of course, the formiddable and eloquent use of language. Yet, the story is just as entertaining, there’s plenty of well timed, well paced and well plotted situational comedy, somewhere between farcial and satirical with excellent observational skills.
The depiction of the college structure is very poignant- I assume it is probably largely based in truth but mixed for effect with warm humour and charm.
Brazier’s humour never bites, so you can find yourself caring for even the annoying characters.
This was truly a highlight of my holiday reading. I read it right after anothewr outstanding book and feared it would not compare. It ouperformed the predecessor easily.
This is an excellent read in a league of its own.
The Blurb says: There’s nothing quite so annoying as having the police arrive when you are trying to cover up a crime that may or may not have happened. Lord Bernard has died unexpectedly. Is Deputy Head Porter being framed? Head Porter just wants to be kept out of the picture.
In this fast-paced whimsical British romp, a priceless work of art – the portrait of Old College founding father Lord Arthur Layton – has gone missing and with the death of Lord Bernard, the Master of arch rivals Hawkins College, there is nothing for it but for our heroine to don her trusty bowler hat and embark upon another eccentric investigation.
In this sequel to the début PorterGirl novel, First Lady of The Keys, Old College’s first and only female Porter must find the portrait or it will be her that is flat on the canvas and framed like a kipper. Tenacious detectives, ill-advised disguises, saucy medieval literature and Russian spies conspire to confuse matters further in this entertaining escapade.
About PorterGirl: First Lady Of The Keys
‘Porters are not the carriers of bags, they are the keepers of keys!’
As one of the most ancient and esteemed establishments of the academic elite, Old College is in for something of a shock when it appoints its very first female Deputy Head Porter. She struggles to get to grips with this eccentric world, far removed from everyday life. PorterGirl, the proverbial square peg in the round hole, begins to wonder quite what she is doing here.
PorterGirl – First Lady Of The Keys is a touching, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, glimpse into a world that is usually reserved for the upper echelons of society. Whether she is chasing after naked students, drinking copious amounts of tea or getting embroiled in quaint, polite murders, Deputy Head Porter is never far from adventure.
Two of the excellent reviews for the book
When our heroine enters the hallowed portals of Old College to take up her post as Deputy Head Porter she is introduced to the ancient traditions, arcane practices, and sacred rituals that have underpinned the existence of this revered seat of learning since medieval times. As she progresses through her first year among her highly idiosyncratic colleagues, some of whom appear to believe that time stopped somewhere around the fourteenth century, and that academic life is only sustainable by the consumption of industrial quantities of English Breakfast Tea, she begins to suspect that the sudden deaths of two members of staff may not have been from natural causes.
Her subsequent investigations, and her discovery of a macabre legacy of dark deeds performed many centuries ago, take the reader on a frightening but wonderfully entertaining journey to a breathtaking climax.
A debut, a blog become novel, imaginative fiction underpinned by unique experience, a literary phenomenon I believe, Lucy Brazier, an author to look out for.
No spoilers here, her guile layering intrigue, mystery, tension, threat and the bizarre laced with humour all the more enjoyable, more involving, more gob-smacking good when you think you know but don’t know what’s coming, Lucy tells a very good story.
A woman, against the odds, Deputy Head Porter, the first of her kind amongst Fellows of Old College, a world steeped in tradition and when deemed appropriate, the darker arts. She’s dressed the part, bowler hat atop buttoned curves, not unnoticed, but more an inquisitive mind, kindness live-wired and the disturbed peculiar give cause to fear for her. Atmospheric prose create images of tranquillity, touching philosophical moments have you thinking too, then with a quite literal ‘bugger this’ she’ll take you places she can’t resist, but decidedly best not to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, the first of the PorterGirl novels, may they long continue, and Lucy have the success her talent deserves.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JT0F9QQ
About Lucy Brazier
Lucy Brazier is in her 30’s and lives in the university city of Cambridge, England.
She started writing from the age of ten when her primary school teachers were at a bit of a loss as to how to contain her effervescent personality. They tasked her with writing stories for the younger children in a bid to keep it from disrupting her peers. Lucy developed her skills throughout her teenage years, when she was inspired to read the words of Homer, Livy and Virgel. These formative years also saw her develop her other great passion of music, where she threw herself into several years of misbehaving and playing bass guitar in unsuitable rock bands.
She winded her literary horizons through the works of Terry Pratchett, Oscar Wilde and Flann O’Brien – the latter of which remains to this day her favourite writer. Lucy develop a penchant for the unusual and the absurd, something which was exacerbated by her time serving in the Police where the many varied experiences and character she met had a profound effect on her outlook on life.
After 7 years on the front line and driven by fascination with Inspector Morse, on a whim Lucy applied for the job of Deputy Head Porter at one of the foremost colleges of Cambridge University. To her great surprise, and that of many others at the time, she landed a role as the first female to don the iconic bowler hat in the colleges six hundred year history. Having left formal education at the tender age of sixteen with little to show for it, being thrown in among the academic elite was something of an eye opener.
Documenting the quirks and fables of College life on social media, Lucy was soon persuaded to start a blog – Secret Diary Of PorterGirl. Acutely aware of the dim view taken by College officials of any slight upon their reputation, she wrote anonymously and in such a way as to disguise the true identity of the now notorious Old College. However, being quite possibly the worst Deputy Head Porter of all time made her decide to hang up her bowler hat and peruse her dream of becoming a writer. Lucy considers this is the best decision she has ever made.
In December 2015 Lucy signed with Kensington Gore Publishing and Secret Diary Of PorterGirl was rewritten and republished in the summer of 2016 as PorterGirl The First Lady Of The Keys. KGHH Publishing see this book and others to follow a great glimpse into the unique world of college life. A world that never seems to change, more evolve into a world of its own.
Connect to Lucy Brazier