Posted on April 14, 2016
Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice by David Coubrough
Grant Morrison is determined to uncover the secrets surrounding two mysterious deaths that occurred over forty years ago. In 1972 Grant was on holiday in Cornwall with his family. It had been a tradition for some years for a group of families to meet up at the same hotel every August. The summer of ’72 was no different – at least to begin with.
One day Tom Youlen, a night porter at the hotel in which they were all staying, was found, collapsed in a country lane, by some of the hotel guests. He whispered a message to one of them but never spoke again before his death five years later. The same week that Tom Youlen was discovered in the country lane a body of one of the guests staying at the same hotel was found washed up on the beach. Although there were many suspects nobody was found to be responsible for either of the deaths.
Grant was only seventeen at the time of these events and has always been concerned that his mother may have been involved in some way. Although his mother died in 1995 it was not until her twin sister died in 2012 that Grant felt he could investigate the happenings of 1972.
Grant travels to Cornwall and although he is keen to uncover the truth, others do not feel the same way. He finds many of the people that were present in 1972 determined to impede his investigation and the ‘Spooks of Zennor’ try to scare him away from Cornwall and back home to London. An invisible girl singing ‘Half a pound of Tuppenny rice’ tries, but does not succeed, in deterring Grant from his mission.
As the plot unravels and some of Grant’s questions are answered another death occurs. Finally, when you think the story is all over a mysterious visitor to a funeral leads you to question if it really is the end.
Half A Pound of Tuppenny Rice has many twists and turns as Grant sets out to find the truth. The first part of the book is a little challenging trying to remember all the names of the people involved. As the story moves into the present day the characters become clearer and the plot easier to follow.
The story is interesting in that it highlights the way people change over the years. How you remember people from your childhood days are often not how they are as adults as their life’s experiences alter their views of the world.
I am sure there will be more books from David Coubrough in the future and wish him every success with Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice.
Half a Pound of Tuppenny Rice is published by Peter Owen (April 2016)
I would like to thank Diana Morgan at Ruth Killick Publicity for the review copy