Cover image for Up and down
Up and down
Coward, Mat.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Unity, Me : Five Star, 2000.
Physical Description:
228 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


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Material Type
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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When an old man is found murdered in a bean trench on an allotment in a London suburb, DI Don Packham co-opts young PC Frank Mitchell to assist him in the investigation on the grounds that Frank's granddad used to have an allotment. Besides, Don would rather avoid CID; he doesn't get on with them, and they all think he's crackers. While the two struggle to come up with a motive for the killing, Frank has to deal with Don's unpredictable mood swings. When Don is down, Frank can find himself running the whole case. But when Don is up -- well, that can be even more frightening.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Coward's impressive debut novel, which chronicles the relationship between Constable Frank Mitchell and Detective Inspector Don Packham, will remind readers of long-suffering Lewis and moody Morse in the Colin Dexter series. Packham can hold his own with Morse, especially in terms of mood swings. Mitchell, initially delighted to be paired with the legendary inspector, soon comes to realize that, from day to day, he has no idea whether he will be working with the jovial, upbeat Packham or the silent, morose Packham. Either way, the task at hand is to investigate the murder of gardener Arthur Jones, aka "Beans." The group of "plotters" (gardeners) with whom Beans occupied space includes a variety of vivid characters, one of whom is likely a murderer. Subsequent volumes in this series will each feature a different group of hobbyists. Recommend Up and Down not only to Morse fans but also to those who are looking for something like John Sherwood's classic gardening mysteries starring Celia Grant. --Jenny McLarin

Library Journal Review

After a 78-year-old retiree is found murdered in his rented garden plot (allotment) in a restful suburb of London, Detective Inspector Don Packham teams up with Frank Mitchell, a police constable with family allotment experience. Packham!s middle-aged detecting experience and personal idiosyncrasies contrast"often humorously"with Mitchell!s more youthful practical knowledge and impending fatherhood. As they interrogate assorted neighboring allotmenteers"all excited about gardening in one way or another"they find ties to controversial commercial development of the area. This first novel is the auspicious debut of a series featuring Packham and Mitchell. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.