The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing by Mary Paulson-Ellis

Set in contemporary Edinburgh this is a sombre detective story about a rather seedy heir hunter set to work by the police to investigate any heirs of a 90-year-old man who dies apparently intestate in a nursing home.

The tale centres on the misadventures of a company of men on the Western Front separated from their unit, and the increase in tension between them culminating in an ‘awful secret’. The old man, in death, is found to have £50,000 sewn into his suit. Otherwise, the only clues are a banal collection of otherwise worthless articles/ trinkets and a pawn ticket redeemable at the long redundant pawn shop of the grandfather of our heir hunter, who had been the captain of the company.

An intriguing story set in two time eras where I found myself drawn into the investigation of an underbelly of the First World War. Fear, horror, greed, cowardice, even love and some humour – there is something here of all these emotions as the book proceeds to its well presented conclusion.

Reviewed by a library member.