Monday, January 23, 2023

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Bad to the Bone by Tony J Forder

British author Tony J Forder writes the DI Jimmy Bliss crime fiction series. The first seven novels were published by Bloodhound Books beginning in 2017. They were re-issued in 2022 under Forder’s own imprint Spare Nib Books along with a prequel and three more books, the most recent of which was released in December 2022.

The first title Bad to the Bone (Bloodhound Books, 2017; Spare Nib Books, 2022) introduces Detective Inspector Jimmy Bliss and his sidekick Detective Constable Penny Chandler of the Major Crimes unit of the Peterborough police force. Bliss is a troubled man with a traumatic history; nevertheless he is a highly capable detective. He sees great promise in Chandler and gives her on-the-job training opportunities whenever possible. Bliss has a fractious relationship with his immediate supervisor, who would remove Bliss if he could. Bliss’s career prospects in this particular office seem dim to non-existent.

In this opening case Bliss and Chandler are called to a wooded area where some boys have uncovered a skeleton. The bones have been there for awhile. Identifying them seemed unlikely but Bliss and his team took the age and gender information from the forensics analysis and started plowing through missing persons records. The methodical process that follows is discouragingly slow but eventually rewarding. Bliss increasingly becomes committed to obtaining justice for the victim, despite the likely damage to his career caused by disregarding his manager’s instructions,

The character of Bliss is not especially original, think Harry Bosch for instance, but the nicely complicated plot line laid out here is. The detailed steps of the paper-based investigation make what logically is coincidence seem quite plausible. A couple of plot twists add depth and complexity to a well-written story.

This series is popular in the UK and is mentioned often in the UK Crime Book Club group on Facebook. Fans of British detective series will want to look at this one.



·         ASIN: B09VWMGF7Z

·         Publisher: Independently published (March 18, 2022)

·         Language: English

·         Hardcover: 376 pages

·         ISBN-13: 979-8421957737 


Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2022 

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

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