Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.
Some reviewers of this novel have been put off by the hype surrounding this novel’s publication, but I don’t have that problem, as the hype has passed me by. I can therefore declare with honesty that I was gripped by it. It’s an excellent modern whodunit with an added ‘why-dunit complete with twists and turns at every stage. True, I was once a publisher and so its opening sentence beginning ‘I received the submission in January’ naturally seized my attention, but it wouldn’t have kept it if it hadn’t been a riveting read.
It’s a story told by three narrators, each of whom picks up the trail begun by Richard Flynn, then an ex-student from Princeton in New Jersey with aspirations to be a writer. It is he who has submitted part of his account of a traumatic period in his life nearly thirty years earlier. Peter Katz, the literary agent to whom he has sent it, is intrigued to find out the rest of the story, but this proves more complex than he had thought. He therefore passes the baton to someone else. And so the story develops into one of murder and passion.
As with a hall of mirrors, this well written novel confuses and masks the true picture both of what had happened in 1987 and of what is happening now as paths are re-trodden and old memories awakened. The author was born in Transylvania into a Romanian cum Hungarian cum German family and his earlier novels and non-fiction works were published in his native language. The Book of Mirrors is his first to be written in English – and I hope it’s the first of many.