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Book review – for readers and writers – no.127: Morgen Bailey reviews Dark Briggate Blues by Chris Nickson

Today’s book review of a crime novel is brought to you by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

Being a writer and editor, I read and review books with both hats. If you’re a writer reading this review and found it useful, do let me know.

Chris Nickson’s 1950s British noir mystery novel Dark Briggate Blues

Chris Nickson Dark Briggate Blues coverSynopsis: Leeds, 1954: When Joanna Hart came into his office, enquiry agent Dan Markham thought it would be an easy case. All the blonde with red lips and swinging hips wanted was to know if her husband was unfaithful. But when the man is killed, Markham’s involvement makes him suspect number one. As the evidence piles against him, he realises someone has set him up. In a deadly game, Markham has to battle to keep his client and himself alive. All he can rely on are his wits and the rusty skills he acquired during his National Service in military intelligence. But can he hope to be any match against a killer who has spies on every corner of Leeds and a reach that goes all the way to Whitehall?

This novel is available via and

Review (via my Kindle’s text-to-speech function)

– Markham being young crops up a few times but I must have missed how old he was. It would’ve been nice at one or more of the mentions to know how old he actually was. I am in my late 40s so young to me would be different to somebody in their 20s or 70s.

– A very interesting look at 1950s procedures where Markham investigates by asking people – shady and otherwise – rather than contemporary crime’s reliance on modern technology.

– Character description was excellent, especially regarding the women.

– There were some great phrases including, ‘In a black and white world, she was a splash of technicolour’ and ‘faint drift of perfume’.

– While the majority of the novel felt authentic, there were a couple of phrases that jarred with me as being too contemporary (feel free to say that I am wrong): ‘go f**k himself’ and ‘sh*g our brains out’ (coincidently the only two phrases that could have offended the reader).

– We should all learn from the books we read and this was an informative novel. The pace was very good throughout with conflict and twists, and it was definitely a page-turner.

– Not the ending I was expecting but tied up all the loose ends.

And now for writers…

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Posted by on August 27, 2015 in critique, ebooks, novels, review, writing


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