Russians digging up ‘his garden’. The Bursar’s doing. No wonder The Dean a little cranky, that is a little more than usual! Footsteps of the Templar, the fourth of the PorterGirl novels, brings once more together; strange Fellows, Porters of all levels, the Heads of much put upon Kitchen and Laundry, the Police, one mounted, one an accomplice to a Wedding, and, the French a new dimension – and did I mention cats, I think I’d better. Yes, Old College as we know it, or think we do, well does anyone, and what do the French have to do with such an English institution? The plot, well stitched, no loose ends, no holes other than, that is, The Bursar’s. Third person narration, we see inside the minds of all, beyond Deputy Head Porter’s perception good as that has always been; we now know what Head Porter is thinking, a certain Headmistress, I didn’t know he had it in him! Lucy Brazier writes with a light, engaging touch; mischievous, at times eccentric, with humour and sensitivity, all beautifully balanced. A class act this author, she’ll have you smiling, beginning to the end, and wanting to read again.
‘Sinister Dexter’ the third of the Porter Girl novels is an immensely enjoyable read ; all the more so having read the two that came before – ‘First Lady of the Keys’ and ‘The Vanishing Lord’. Author Lucy Brazier sets all eyes upon Deputy Head Porter as she strives to uphold the honour of Old College – despite the machinations of The Bursar – jeopardising her position and even more alarming her need of tea. Two young bodies found at the bottom of the Old College garden, quite disturbing, unsettling the students, the staff, to a degree, not least the ever present Dean – though in his case tempered by having to yet again indulge the police. Deputy Head Porter finds herself the go-between (and all too often the go-without when it comes to tea and sausages) – the link of reason (all things are relative) – dealing with the ‘never wrong, yet not quite right’ Dean, the ‘all seeing, all hearing’ Detective Chief Inspector Thompson, and the’ distracted, not always there’ Head Porter – to name a few! And therein lies the beauty of this story – the interplay of characters, the creation of images, the deft balance of sensitivities, emotions, humour and the bizarre – all sublime – and best of all exposure to what goes on in Deputy Head Porter’s mind! I’ve a mind to read again and will.