The ways of the world by Robert Goddard
This is book one of a trilogy, and I found it intelligent and well-written, with a great sense of place. I think that the trilogy format has enabled Robert Goddard to construct a detailed and intricate plot, and include the period details and characterizations which create an authentic and compelling world for the reader to inhabit.
The action begins in 1919. The First World War has only just ended, and delegates from around the world are in Paris to negotiate the terms of a peace agreement. British diplomat Sir Henry Maxted is found dead, having apparently fallen from the roof of a Montparnasse apartment building. Although his death looks highly suspicious, the French authorities insist it was accidental. Sir Henry’s sons, Ashley and ex-Royal Flying Corps ace James, arrive to escort their father’s body home, and realise immediately that the official version of events is a lie. Public awareness of the murder could cause chaos for the delicate negotiations of the peace conference, but James and Ashley are determined to discover who killed their father and why. Max is an appealing hero, and the plot is enjoyably complex and intriguing however, the book ends quite suddenly just as you are totally absorbed in the story, which is a bit of a shock.
Luckily the next two volumes are readily available, because I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the further adventures of James ‘Max’ Maxted! Book Two is The corners of the globe, and Book Three is The ends of the earth.
Recommended if you enjoy tales of suspense, espionage and murder.