Monday, June 24, 2024

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Worthless by Peter Helton

Peter Helton has written seven amusing books about a painter turned inept private investigator. Chris Honeysett lives in Bath in a rundown house with an unlimited need for repairs. His girlfriend Annis is a more successful artist who also lives with him sometimes but sometimes with their mutual friend Tim. Hence Honeysett refers to her as his half girlfriend. While Honeysett has sold a number of paintings, he doesn’t sell enough to keep his roof in repair so he launched Aquia Investigations to help fill the funding gap.

In Worthless Remains (Crème de la Crime, 2013), the fifth book of the series, Honeysett accepts an assignment from an insurance company to monitor the payee of a large sum for injuries acquired in a motorcycle accident. The company wants confirmation that the victim is indeed confined to a wheelchair. Honeysett is happy for the potential revenue when he learns that Annis has accepted another assignment for him: minder for the presenter of a popular BBC archaeology program while they film in Bath. Convinced he’d have plenty of time to watch the motorcycle victim for signs of malfeasance as well, Honeysett goes blithely to meet his famous charge.

It turns out that Guy Middleton is anything but easy. Offensive to almost everyone, chronically drunk, Middleton is subject to death threats and near misses the duration of the shoot. The ancient Roman weapon brought in to demonstrate onscreen launches unexpectedly and pinions the leg of the person sitting next to Middleton, an urn slips off the roof of the old country manor where they are digging and nearly crowns him, and on and on. Honeysett is fully consumed with getting the increasingly paranoid Middleton up and on the set in time for shooting every day.

The book is an entertaining look at behind-the-scenes television. Honeysett is a droll narrator with a witty spin on nearly everything. Middleton is an arrogant prima donna and his producer is looking for a way to get rid of him. Needless to say, they despise each other. The location is the current home of an aging rocker who now loathes the music that made him a millionaire several times over. The program brought an expert in on Roman food who cooked on-screen and in a nod to reality everyone developed food poisoning.

There is no lack of suspects. But both cases are neatly wrapped up despite Honeysett’s failure to pay attention to the motorcycle injury claim. The resolution to the potential insurance scam is especially well done.


·        Publisher: Crème de la Crime (September 1, 2013)

·        Language: English

·        Hardcover: 240 pages

·        ISBN-10: 1780290470

·        ISBN-13: 978-1780290478


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Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2024 

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

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