Review: Miss Seeton at the Helm by Hamptom Charles. Farrago

So, after the loss of Heron Carvic, Hampton Charles has picked up the challenge of continuing the saga of Miss Seeton. I think he has done admirably in this book.

We find Miss Seeton “at the helm” of a Greek island cruise. She is the delighted recipient of this fine vacation, framed by Scotland Yard as a “merit award” for her artistic services to the Yard. However, Miss Seeton is blissfully unaware of an art fraud scheme with a Yard investigation underway, and the principal players are scheduled to be on the cruise. Chief Superintendent Delphick has hopes for his favorite umbrella user, and once again she does not disappoint. Miss Seeton’s talented artistic eye catches themes–parallels with a famous artwork– that ultimately prove the undoing of the schemers. In the process of the cruise, the bad guys plan the demise of Miss Seeton, and more than one attempt is made against her. Some are lost, others are caught, and once Miss Seeton comes through it all relatively unscathed. (Not really a spoiler–you can’t lose the title character and go on with the series now, can you?)

In this book Hampton Charles, like Heron Carvic before him, has some fun with names. We have the cruise company itself (Heron Halcyon Holidays–surely a tip of the hat to author Heron Carvic?), Sir Wormelow Tump, and a man with two names (Ferencz Szabo and Frank Taylor). Also Charles manages to put some romance into the story. In this case, though, it’s a little confusing when Mel Forby and Superintendent Delphick get caught up in a shipboard romance.  Perhaps Mr. Charles forgot that Delphick has a spouse and that Mel is engaged in a romance with her fellow journalist Thrudd?

Once again, great fun, imaginative plotting and a fine cast of characters good and bad.  My thanks to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this very enjoyable book.

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