Cover Image: Psycho by the Sea

Psycho by the Sea

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A rainy September in 1950s Brighton and both the criminals and the police are concerned about events.  A prominent member of a local gang (and triple agent) has disappeared, a lunatic who decapitates policemen has escaped from Broadmoor and  an eminent professor has been shot dead in local department store.  Inspector Steine has returned to Brighton after being lauded a hero because of his killing of a gangland leader and he has a new secretary who has asked Mrs Groynes, police charlady and criminal mastermind, to keep out of the office and do the work she is paid for.  A planned Christmas heist is now under threat.
This is the next in a very entertaining series set in Brighton.  Truss has managed a wonderful 'faux-naif' way of writing which suits the preposterous plots and and lends a knowing innocence to the narrative.  All together these books are delight, light but with hidden depths.
Was this review helpful?
Brighton! Sand! Sea! Electric kettles! Organised crime! Constable Twitten has had a busy few months since he started work as Brighton’s brightest detective constable. In the last instalment as the bodies piled up it looked as if everything was getting cleared up. But now someone’s out for Mrs Groynes as one of her key henchmen disappears and his finger is sent via the pneumatic tube at the second best department store in town, it turns out they are surrounded by unseen enemies. 
Twitten is handed the evidence to finally shop Mrs Groynes but can he do it?
Steine has been branded a hero, showered with awards, acclaim and fame but he just can’t stand it and there’s a psycho on the loose that’s out for his head! Sergeant Brunswick has to chose between a beautiful 19 year old femme fatale choc full of wiles and a handsome older woman who wants him and is willing to serve him blancmange. Tough decisions all over.
Was this review helpful?
Psycho by the Sea is the fourth instalment in Lynne Truss's series featuring Constable Twitten, set in Brighton in the 1950s.

This was my first of the series and didn't feel hindered that I have yet to read the first three novels. Lynne Truss's police characters, Sergeant Brunswick, Constable Twitten and Inspector Steine are expertly drawn. The farcical tale is immersive and twisty with a typical cosy mystery small-town community emphasis. The story is cleverly told making it an absolute delight to read. An engrossing and charming mystery that I recommend very highly.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bloomsbury Publishing/Raven Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I never know if I'm going to like the stories in this series or not as it's a bit of hit/miss for me. I liked this one and had a lot of fun in reading it.
The plot is well developed, flows and kept me reading. The quirky characters are fleshed out and funny.
There's plenty of humor and there's a weird mystery that I liked.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
Was this review helpful?
Psycho By the Sea is the fourth instalment in the Constable Twitten series of cosy mysteries set in the coastal town of Brighton in the 1950s. Mayhem reigns while Inspector Steine is on a trip to London to honour his bravery in the line of duty and is wrapped up in his own celebrity after being labelled a hero for his exploits after shooting villain Terry Chambers the previous month. But back in Brighton, chaos has not taken a day off and Twitten and Sergeant Brunswick are having to make the best of a bad situation. Initially, they are investigating the possible whereabouts of an escaped nutcase turned serial killing cop from Broadmoor who somehow managed to break loose and skulk off in a terrifyingly inconspicuous manner; there's also the small detail that he very much enjoys decapitating policemen before boiling their heads presumably to partake in some justice-flavoured cannibalism. 

But the crazy cannibal cop is just the beginning as there's also the dead body of a professor discovered in a department store to investigate and a strange attack in a photography shop to deal with. And we all know that what can go wrong almost certainly will. Could the crimes possibly be connected? This is such a compelling, madcap and whimsical cosy mystery by an author who is at the top of her game and is farcical in terms of both the plot and cast of idiosyncratic characters. It's immersive and twisty with that small-town community feel where everyone knows each other’s business and gossip runs rife with the way the story is cleverly woven making it a pure unadulterated joy to read. It has every ingredient required for a brilliant cosy: humour, an engrossing mystery, engaging, quirky characters and plenty of surprises. A captivating, charming and thoroughly entertaining read.
Was this review helpful?
3 ½ stars I think.  Enjoy these books and as a Brightonian, love all the little references and jokes about the town.  All the character names and local references just bring back a lot of good 'growing-up' memories.  The plots are a bit ridiculous but just full of fun, perfect.  Thanks to Netgalley
Was this review helpful?
I really struggled to get into the story. I am not sure what part didnt appeal as the quality of writing was sound. I think it was just a bit slow for me. Unfortunately I didnt finish it.
Was this review helpful?
Madcap, Gloriously Entertaining….
Constable Twitten is back in another madcap, gloriously entertaining tale. Much criminality abounds in Brighton - with one particular individual, following an escape from Broadmoor, rather partial to the boiling of policeman’s heads! Our trio of crime fighters have much to occupy their minds. Just joyous, pure escapism.
Was this review helpful?
Constable Twitten returns in this entertaining and farcical mystery. The plot revolves around the escape from Broadmoor of a dangerous criminal who decapitates policemen. It becomes quite clear that somebody is out to bring to an end the criminal empire of the police station charwoman who nobody but Twitten suspects. It is also clear someone is out to get the inspector.

The book is totally incredible but a lot of fun. There are a host of eccentric characters which just adds to the entertainment value. Who would have thought that the insulation of a new pedestrian crossing could be so dangerous?
Was this review helpful?
Another wonderfully funny journey with the unfortunate Constable Twitten (too clever for his own good); The 'Stupid' Sergeant Brunswick (always getting shot in the leg whilst desperate to go undercover); and the infuriatingly incompetent Inspector Steine (that's S-T-E-E-N).

This time, our Twitten is busy trying to work out what an escaped lunatic who has a penchant for boiling policeman's heads is going to mean for his Inspector, whilst Inspector Steine himself is far too wrapped up in his newly found celebrity status to worry about such petty incidents as a Broadmoor escapee, and is savouring the fandom of all around him.

Our lovely Mrs. Groynes (charlady-cum-criminal-mastermind) is put out somewhat when Inspector Steine's new secretary arrives in the form of Roberta Lennon, and the delights and magic of her new electric kettle are soon pushed aside. And just what has happened to her close aide Barrow-boy Cecil?

I absolutely adore this series, and this one was no exception. Each one is witty, clever, funny and subtly mocks the patriarchy and incompetence of our Great British Police Force with a warm fuzzy feeling. You can't help but feel for poor Twitten, root for clever Mrs. Groynes and cringe at Inspector Steine. 

Despite this being the fourth in the series it does standalone well, as the previous events are explained at the beginning.

Good, light hearted, quintessential, funny and endearing crime, with some clever words thrown in the mix for entertainment. I can't wait for the next one! Who knew crime and humour went so well.

5 silver truncheon, wobble blancmange stars.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series and the wonderful depiction of 1950s Brighton. The characters are developing beautifully and it's nicely surprising to find myself empathising with some of the shallower characters. I can't get enough of this gang!
Was this review helpful?
Fun police procedural with British humour and eccentric characters. Set in 60s Brighton, so reminiscent of Peter Bartram’s books. I love the idea of a police station tea lady being a master criminal. Hadn’t read the first books in the series, so was worried I wouldn’t catch up, but everything you need to know is well explained. A bit sexist with the ‘feminine wiles’, possibly a reflection of the times, but a little overused here for a book published in 2021.
Was this review helpful?
Psycho by the Sea was a fun and easy read with an excellent ending! 

Whilst it would perhaps have been easier to read had I read the two previous instalments, the ‘brief (helpful) notes’ were just that and established this as a fairly effective standalone story. It was funny and well-paced and you are soon sucked into the escapades of our heroes(?) Sergeant Brunswicke and Constable Twitten as they race to find an escaped convict with a penchant for decapitating and boiling the heads of policemen!

After several weeks of essay writing (perhaps more tense this week due to impending deadlines!) it was exactly the kind of book to unwind to – whilst I couldn’t put it down myself, it doesn’t pressure you the same way other thrillers and mysteries are perhaps more likely to do, which I thoroughly appreciated. Perhaps a book to read on Brighton Beach? Do keep an eye out for anyone with overpriced mechanical rabbits though, they may be wanted by the police! 

My thanks to NetGalley, Bloomsbury Publishing, Ravens Books and Lynne Truss for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Mayhem by the sea! Once again Lynn Truss has managed to keep me in stitches for a few hours. As usual it's raining in Brighton (surprise, surprise....) and while Inspector Heine is missing in action, his useless sidekicks Twitten and Brunswick are doing their best to prove to the world at large how really useless they really are....A magnificent and very hilarious crime caper full of morons on both side of the law who are all a wheel short of a full set. Deranged thugs and inept policemen going totally bonkers within an outrageous plot full of verbal pyrotechnics set in  late 1950s coastal Sussex and its usual wet weather...Honestly by the end of the book I had laughed so much that I wasn't able to describe what I had just finished reading. That's Lynn Truss to you! It's simply good to your health. So go ahead and enjoy this uproarious romp without any moderation🤣👍

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for the opportunity to read this crazy novel prior to its release date
Was this review helpful?
It’s 1957, Brighton in the next instalment of this quirky crime series. Inspector Steine – newly honoured for his bravery in the line of duty – has had to hire a secretary to help with the increased workload that comes with being a hero. Meanwhile, Sergeant Brunswicke and Constable Twitten are on the case of a missing criminal, escaped from Broadmoor who, for some reason, enjoys boiling policemen’s’ heads (after he kills them, of course). Brunswicke and Twitten must make their own enquiries into the missing man’s whereabouts, as well as undertake and manage all the villainy that’s going on in the city. A local gang member has disappeared, and an American researcher has been found dead in the city’s leading department store. Are the crimes linked? Having not read the previous books, it took me a little while to get absorbed into the characters but it’s easily and quickly done. You can’t help but laugh and commiserate with the police and villains alike and the writing is very, very good.
Was this review helpful?
The weather is miserable in Brighton, and Constable Twitten & Sergeant Brunswick aren't in much better form.

While Inspector Steine is reluctantly being a celebrity in London after the success of his last case, they are left holding the fort and trying to get to the bottom of some very strange goings-on.

Barrow-Boy Cecil has disappeared, there's a lunatic escaped from Broadmoor who decapitates policemen, an American researcher is found dead in one of the listening booths at Gosling's  - and Mrs Groynes has been displaced by the Inspector's new secretary.

All of the mayhem we've come to expect from this lot!
Was this review helpful?