Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Touch of Frost

R.D. Wingfield
Author of the Jack Frost mysteries
I have to confess that in July I took a few little side trips from Paris across the English Channel and read two British mysteries by R.D. Wingfield: Frost at Christmas and A Touch of Frost. If you have watched any of the long-running British detective series "A Touch of Frost" you will know that the character Detective Inspector Jack Frost, played brilliantly by David Jason, is based on these books.

I had checked the first one in the series (Frost at Christmas) out of the library but that was the only one it had. I ordered used copies of A Touch of Frost and three others (Night Frost, Hard Frost, and Winter Frost) from Powell's Books when the Portland, Oregon bookstore offered free shipping over the Fourth of July weekend. I was thrilled.

The writing is witty and Frost's cases keep piling up. As does the paperwork on his desk. Each book covers only a couple of days in the lives of the Denton Police Force and there are many crimes to solve. My only complaint is that Frost has a bit of a bawdy mouth about women. I just try to ignore these comments because otherwise his character is amusing. He is unkempt and unorganized but decidedly brilliant. He reminds me of a British Columbo.

There is one more in the series - A Killing Frost. Unfortunately Wingfield died in 2007 so alas, there won't be any more.

I did finish reading the final pages of The Three Musketeers. And I rented the 1993 version of the tale to watch sometime this week.

I am glad that I know not to read the introduction to a book until after I have finished the book. I have learned the hard way that too much of the plot is given away and ruins the story for me. I stuck to my plan, and in reading the introduction after finishing TTM I did learn that the work was written for a newspaper serialization which accounts for its length and cliffhangers. And I was right - the intro contained spoilers!

C'est la vie.

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