I picked up a copy of A Death at the Palace on Richard's recommendation. It's a murder mystery set around Wood Green. 

The blurb on the back cover tickles me: "Stunning new crime set in the capital's least loved quarter". Which is ironic, as any reader will instantly feel Matt Baylis's love for and deep connection with the area. Our anti-hero, reporter Rex Tracey, works on the local paper in Wood Green. His ex-girlfriend, a Lithuanian artist has gone missing, young women are being attacked in Alexandra Park and a new anti-immigration political party is making an impression. 

As with the best fictional detectives he has an erratic personal life with a tragedy in his past. But for me, the plot and action (full of intrigue and twists though it is) came second to my interest in the story being set around here. Tracey gets buses up and down Green Lanes. He drinks in the Salisbury and the Starting Gate or takes home strong Polish lager. He lives in South Tottenham, has a first date on a bench on Ducketts Common. One of his characters has an allotment in Palmers Green and lives in Southgate. His girlfriend has a job at a greasy spoon on Green Lanes and temporarily resided in a squat on the North Circular. An illegal sandwich making factory is infiltrated in Wood Green Cultural Quarter. He gets overly familiar with the North Middlesex Hospital. Characters come from all over the world and the local detail is spot on (OK, bar one bus route mistake, but I blame his editor). 

In short, highly recommended and hopefully there's a series to come. 

Views: 438

Comment by Matt Baylis on October 28, 2013 at 22:49

Pleased to report that The Tottenham Outrage (Rex Tracey's second mystery) will be out in the Spring next year.  Thank you for that very kind review - Matt (M.H.) Baylis

Comment by Lindsey Berthoud on October 29, 2013 at 12:38

Hooray, good news. Could you write us a Myddleton Road Mystery next please? :)

Comment by Julia on January 1, 2014 at 11:23

I also enjoyed this book - can't remember how I found out about it but got a copy from the library. Funnily enough, turns out that the author and I have a mutual friend. Small world. I look forward to the second book this spring.

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