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Wobble to Death: A Sergeant Cribb Investigation    by Peter Lovesey order for
Wobble to Death
by Peter Lovesey
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2008 (1970)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Again available to fans of Peter Lovesey mysteries, here is Wobble to Death, the first in a series of eight Sergeant Cribb Victorian mysteries, the popular series that launched the author's prestigious career.

Wobble to Death takes readers back to London in 1879 where competitors are poised to begin a six-day Go As You Please Race. This wobble, as it was nicknamed by Victorians, was an early example of what would become one of the most popular sporting events on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean during the 1880s.

The race promoter, Sol Herriott, with the assistance of his manager, Walter Jacobson, has assembled an eclectic corps of sixteen athletes. All of them are hoping to win the ₤500 first prize, but none of them could have anticipated the dangers that would await some of them during the race.

One of the early favorites in the race suddenly collapses and dies - presumably because of an accidentally acquired infection - but the police investigation, with Sergeant Wally Cribb as the lead investigator, soon discovers foul play. Of course, the race goes on (at the same pace as the investigation), but before it is all over, others will die.

The plot and action in Wobble to Death do tend to wobble a bit here and there, ironically underscoring the pace of the Go As You Please Race that serves as the intriguing historical frame for the story, but that minor shortcoming should not deter readers from seizing upon the opportunity to savor the no holds barred fun and games in this early Sergeant Cribb tale from internationally renowned author Peter Lovesey.

The publisher of Wobble to Death, Soho Press, is an impressive publishing house with a great record for delivering top-notch titles to aficionados of quality mysteries, and Soho indeed deserves high praise for making Lovesey's series once again available to readers.

And here is some more good news: future titles in the Sergeant Cribb adventure series are on their way to bookstores in the next couple of months (and The Detective Wore Silk Drawers, another entertaining gem, is already on the shelves). Enjoy!

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