Book Review #129: The Five Matchboxes

Author: John Russell Fearn

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

Language: English

Series, if any: NA

Publisher: Endeavour Press

Date of publication: 17 June 2016

No. Of pages: 173


Despite the advance warning to the Scotland Yard, Granville Collins was found shot to death in his office where all the windows were closed and the door was locked and nothing has been disturbed. Only thing that can be considered as out of place was the five empty matchboxes, each with a small hole forged on one side.

The whole case is confounding enough for dyspeptic Detective Inspector Garth. But adding to the dilemma is the growing list of suspects and motives and a potential linkage to a 15 year old unsolved crime.


I hate it when a book doesn’t live upto the expectations of a good description. Despite the Agatha Christie style narrative and plot development, I was not able to get comfortable with the way the book has been written. Undoubtedly the climax was worth my patience, but the slow meandering of narration, accompanied with the slightly archaic British vocabularly made it quite difficult to make it an enjoyable thriller.

Its a typical detective novel, very similar to Agatha Christie books. I am not sure if the aithor is intending to develop the character of the detective in any future sequels, but in this book I didn’t see any character development.

The title and cover image is dramatic enough to attract attention but I found it out of context in terms of significance to the plot.

My opinion: The book could have been better if the flow of the language was smooth and easy to comprehend. There were lot of gaps in the way the entire plot has been developed that kept me asking for something more. Not something Inwould recommend unfortunately.

My rating: 2 out of 5


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