I read this book because Peter Murphy came to speak to the writers’ group I attend and he recommended it as he intended on using this book to show how he researched his novels. He was an excellent speaker and the content of his presentation was very interesting.

And Is There Honey Still For Tea? is the third Ben Schroeder novel and is set in 1965. Francis Hollander arrives from America to accuse Sir James Digby of being a Soviet spy. Initially this appears to be a simple case of libel but as the case proceeds, and MI6 get involved, it’s no longer clear who’s in the right anymore.

This book looks, with great depth, into the background and development of the Cambridge Spies and I found all of that fascinating. This input is written from Digby’s point of view and I enjoyed watching what felt like his rather naïve associations with those who wanted to draw him into their world of espionage. All the way through Digby’s real passion was for chess and although that had a crucial place within the story for me there was a little too much detail. That’s just a personal thing.

I enjoyed reading about life at the Bar, a lot of it seemed terribly dated, even for 1965, but I know that’s how life was at that time.

Peter Murphy writes his legal thrillers with great authority as he was a barrister, and his expert knowledge is clear throughout this read. The courtroom detail, the references to the law you can be assured are spot on. This didn’t really read as a thriller for me although I suspect others in the series may well contain more suspense, that said if you love courtroom dramas and an excellent attention to detail then this will definitely be one for you.

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