Sunday, 24 March 2013
The One Penny Orange Mystery by Morris Ackerman
I was intrigued with I saw this book , and reminded of happy memories of 40 years ago when my Grandfather put a 1p British stamp into a matchbox and told me to see if I could find any others amongst a pile of envelopes.
The book made it's way across the Atlantic and I was fairly impatient to start reading. I did early this week and finished it a day or so ago.
There was a real sense of innocence about this book. The storyline and the characters and I knew within a page or two that I was going to enjoy it.
The character names are great, a play on the world of stamp collecting, which all starts when an British Official who spent many years working for the Government, first in India then in Mauritius fleas the start of an uprising taking with him a set of old historical papers.
The character, which has the wonderful name of Major Edward Postmark returns to Mauritius after some years to the house which he owns to sell up before returning to England. He sorts through his belongings in the house and comes across the pile of papers he recalls fleeing the embassy with years before. Amongst the papers is the One Penny Orange Stamp which is the catalyst of the whole mystery.
What follows through the rest of the pages is the valuation and then eventual sale of the stamp alas it is not without its problems. The author introduces readers to a series of characters, the stamp authenticator, stamp dealer, security agents and rather enthusiastic stamp collectors. Also thrown into the mix is a few red herrings. All of these individuals wish to own a valuable stamp, and some are prepared to regardless of the stakes.
The mystery structure was a good one, I certainly did not solve the who done it before the end of the book. This was a great book, with a strong storyline and none of the violence that perhaps might have wielded into the pages. It was a gentle page turner and it is this gentleness that had an innocence about it which I enjoyed.
This has potential for the start of a series, perhaps involving a Two Pence Stamp, but we will have to wait and see, but I do hope so. I loved this book and is certainly one of the favourites for the year.
The book which I do recommend is available from Amazon US, UK and Book Depository
Disclaimer - I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.