Saturday, August 17, 2013
Sexton Blake: The Witches of Notting Hill
Enter the great detective Sexton Blake, visiting the country for a routine security consultation. Blake gets caught up in the investigation and soon he and his old friend Scotland Yard Inspector George Coutts are tracking what seems to be a killer with supernatural powers.
Where, you may ask, are the Witches of Notting Hill. Well...technically there aren't any. There are a couple of chapters where Blake's young assistant Tinker does some investigating of London based witch covens, but that's about it. I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a more urbanized adventure, but I still enjoyed the book a lot.
The author of this one was W.A. Ballinger (Keith Chapman tells me this was probably Wilfred McNeilly, rewritten by William Howard Baker and G. P. Mann.) and the prose is lively and straight forward. Pedro the bloodhound does make an appearance in the book, as does Blake's newspaperman friend, Splash Page, renamed Splash Kirby for some reason.
Not really much swinging sixties atmosphere here, but still much fun. The solution to the mystery may stretch credibility a bit but all and all, a good entry in the later Blake series.