Books,  Rain_Reads,  Words,  Writers

Rain Reads: Shamus Dust by Janet Roger Book Review


Title: Shamus Dust: Hard Winter. Cold War. Cool Murder
Author: Janet Roger
Publication Date: October 28th, 2019
Publisher: Matador
Genre: Murder Mystery, Crime, Historical Fiction

“As if all you ever do is sprinkle shamus dust and the police suspect of the year floats in.”- Janet Roger, Shamus Dust

Book Synopsis (Goodreads)

Two candles flaring at a Christmas crib. A nurse who steps inside a church to light them. A gunshot emptied in a man’s head in the creaking stillness before dawn, that the nurse says she didn’t hear. It’s 1947 in the snowbound, war-scarred City of London, where Pandora’s Box just got opened in the ruins, City Police has a vice killing on its hands, and a spooked councilor hires a shamus to help spare his blushes. Like the Buddha says, everything is connected. So it all can be explained. But that’s a little cryptic when you happen to be the shamus, and you’re standing over a corpse.

Book Thoughts

Shamus Dust revolves around a murder mystery committed in early Christmas morning during postwar in London. A councilor worried about his reputation called in for a private detective and from there started more connected murders.

I love reading mysteries but I have been in a reading slump for a while now so getting into this book is quite a challenge (you know, books like this need brains). I read a few reviews and for a debut novel, it surprisingly gained numerous praises. So without any hesitation, I laid my eyes on this. At first, I don’t understand the rave because everything looks so predictable. I sincerely apologize for the people who so love this book but I really judged it to be cliche for I cannot find anything remarkable about it. I almost don’t want to finish it to tell you honestly. But… You know a detective never stops finding things. And I’ve always felt like I’m one of a kind shamus whenever I read about crimes so I continued and finished this book and then proved myself wrong.

As I dig into this book, it gets better along the way. Each chapter leaves you with more questions making you stick to reading it. What fascinated me was the plot. I don’t want to give any spoiler but the plot is really cool and unexpected for me. I like the author’s humor in this book, too. It kept me seated and indulged. Reading this historical fiction also gave me P.D James’ style and vibe. A good crime mystery book for me is one that makes me feel so into it as if I am one with the character and I must say that Janet Roger gave me that feeling. As a writer who loves writing mysteries and crimes, it’s quite hard to achieve that sort of connection with the readers. But the author of Shamus Dust was able to put me into her own fictional world.

Quotes from the Book

I listed some quotes that I really enjoyed pondering about:

“It was a leftover, a habit arrived in a war, all that counts is to grab at sleep and hold onto it whenever and wherever it offers.”

Don’t we all crave for sleep? Janet Roger understands us all.

“But then, not everything you open Christmas morning is a gift.”

Truth has been revealed through this line. And sometimes the best gifts are not opened during Christmas mornings.

“Some people leave it late to make their best impression.”

And sometimes we regret not seeing the good side while one is still with us.

More quotes from the book:

“Sometimes it can take a beautiful woman to bring out the poetry in a soul.”

“The dead don’t blackmail.”

“Sometimes a murder is a random, solitary affair.”

“But what’s news depends on what counts and who’s listening.”

“You draw a blank sometimes and you know the questions you’re asking are wrong.”

“That you can be so blind to a thing at the first time of asking.”

“But you don’t have to want trouble, you just rub up against it and it multiplies.”

“Questions I didn’t ask. It’s a complaint I get. Also questions I asked the wrong people, in the wrong places, at the wrong time.”

Overall Verdict

As I’ve mentioned before, I judged this book to be nothing extraordinary and I really wonder what’s the rave about but upon finishing it I did understand that it’s worthy of your time. This book deserves all the good ratings one could give. I guess I’m giving it a 4.5-star rating. This is Janet Roger’s debut novel and for crime mystery and historical fiction readers, this book is highly recommended.

You can find the book here and you can find Janet on Twitter. 🙂


Any thoughts?

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