Ill Met By A Fish Shop On George Street-Mark McShane (1968)

A good mystery about a chance meeting in Sydney, Australia that brings back the past about a murder in London. There’s also a good sense of humor that adds to the book’s enjoyment.

Tom Brady is a sixty year old ex London cop who has settled in Australia. He just lost his job as a nightwatchman for sleeping on the job.

Fifty-eight year old Jack Partridge used to be Jack Armstrong until he got a passport from a drunken Australian in a London bar. Now he’s a successful businessman.

Walking along George Street Jack spots a neighbor, Janet Tree, in front of the fish shop. She out on a day’s shoplifting spree. After Jack greets her he sees Brady. The two met thirty years ago for a few seconds but Jack is convinced Brady recognized him and panics. He goes home instead of to work. As for Tom he isn’t fazed.

Then it all starts coming back to him. He recalls when he was a Constable and heard a woman scream. He sees a man running out of the building with blood on his face and collar. He goes inside and discovers a woman dead after being hit with a poker.

Brady thinks discovering a murder will make his career. Instead his superiors say he botched the investigation. It’s discovered the running man was Peter Capstan and the woman was his wife Carlotta. Peter disappeared and there’s no trace that he even existed.

Now Brady manages to trace Partridge and gets himself a room at Mrs.Tree’s place so he can keep an eye on Partridge who he knows is Capstan. Mrs.Tree is nervous when he tells her he’s an ex-policeman. She thinks Brady may be spying on her and she doesn’t want him to find out about her fence who owns a pawnshop.

Brady and Patridge accidentally meet in a local pub. It’s not the kind of confrontation you’d expect. The book moves along as Mrs.Tree gets involved. If you’re looking for something a bit different get this one.

Mark McShane


About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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