BLOG TOUR: Lives Lost by Britta Bolt

Published 7th May 2015 by Mulholland books. My thanks to them and Bookbridgr for sending my review copy, also to Becca for inviting me to kick off the blog tour today.

A minute can make all the difference...

Pieter Posthumus is enjoying a quiet drink in his favourite bar when the screaming starts. A minute later, the owner of the guesthouse next door rushes in: one of her tenants has been murdered. 

Marloes, the guesthouse owner, is an odd but kind soul. Posthumus cannot believe it when she is arrested - for both her tenant Zig's murder and another death years before. He knows there are questions unanswered: what is the link between the two cases? Why are people so keen to think Marloes is guilty? And why did Zig paint just one picture every year - a copy of a Dutch master, but with one peculiar twist? 

As his investigation progresses, he comes to see that a few minutes can mean all the difference in the world: between saving a life and taking one; between innocence and guilt. And that sometimes asking questions leads to a truth that's hard to bear.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in the Pieter Posthumus mysteries, The first Lonely Graves was published last year. Whilst I don't think it is essential to have read it to enjoy this one, it might have provided some more fleshing out of the characters.

This book is set in Amsterdam and the author manages to create vivid descriptions of the place and I personally found it quite interesting to read a book set in that location.

I enjoyed the characters, particularly Pieter Posthumus himself, who is a humble, kind man who works for The Lonely Funeral Team, as a civil servant. He also can't stop himself from getting involved with a bit of sleuthing from time to time.

This wasn't the fast paced thriller I was expecting but it was an excellent mystery and it all came together well in the end. It was quite unusual. Whether some of the pace was lost in translation, I don't know but I will certainly be reading more from Britta Bolt.

About the Author:
Britta Bolt started when Britta Boehler a lawyer and Rodney Bolt who writes Biographies and travel stories, joined forces.They decided to write a series based in Amsterdam.

I am delighted to welcome Britta Bolt here today, they have written an exclusive piece to share with you. 

Posthumus Blog The Lonely Funerals Team

Amsterdam really does have a ‘Lonely Funerals Team’, which gives a good send-off to those who die alone, and to anonymous corpses found within the city limits. The city council commissions a poet to write an elegy, pays for flowers (and a few cups of coffee, should anyone attend), and at least one of the team goes to the funeral. It’s a touching institution, and for us one that has something of the essence of quirky, convivial Amsterdam about it. Of course, the original raison d’ĂȘtre for the municipal department is so that workers can look for wills and insurance policies, for evidence of friends or family connections, and to see if there is enough money in bank accounts to pay for the funeral. Our hero, Pieter Posthumus, takes this a little bit further. His insatiable curiosity, and a working day spent making stories from the flotsam and jetsam of people’s lives, mean that if he spots something that doesn’t quite fit, as he’s sifting through photos, looking at bookshelves, flipping through a CD collection, he just can’t let it go. And that gets him into all sorts of trouble….

The real Lonely Funerals Team has had some odd experiences over the years, such as finding a wardrobe stuffed with tens of thousands of euros; as well as many sad ones, such as the lonely man who committed suicide, leaving his body to science, but was not discovered until it was too late even to end up as a cadaver for dissection. Some true-life stories from the real team make it into our books (look out for the headless corpse in Book Three!).

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