Inspector Banks: Music and Murder

close to homeClose to Home gives us two story lines to follow. Both of course involve DCI Banks. In present time Alan Banks is on a holiday in Greece, trying to get rest after a particularly harrowing case from the last book. While there, he reads a newspaper account about skeletal remains being found in Yorkshire. The bones were discovered during a construction excavation.

What makes this close to home is the identity of the victim, 14 year old Graham Marshall , Banks childhood friend. It was mentioned in previous books that Graham had just disappeared and Banks had always wondered what happened to him. He returns to Yorkshire since this is personal.

The other story line involves the kidnapping of a local teenager. This case will generate publicity since Luke’s mother is a famous fashion model and his step father is a retired football player. Banks offers assistance with the investigation DCI Annie Cabbot is heading up.

I like how he ties things together at the end, finding parallels between Graham and Luke. They were both teen aged boys with 40 years between them, but there were indeed comparisons.

Now, something I always meant to do was mention some of the music banks plays. I am on book 14 now and his taste in music evolves each time. This time I bookmarked the Kindle for each musical entry. As always, there is pub food.. I mentioned that too.

From Chapter one: While the coffee was brewing he put on a CD of Mozart arias, picked up last week’s newspapers he hadn’t read yet and walked out on the balcony….He brought a stack of his favorite CDs with him including Billie Holiday, John Coltrane, Shubert, Walton, The Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin.

Chapter six: Banks is staying at his parents’ home and has been installed in the room he had growing up. He’s always liked music and was pleased his mother still had his old collection of LPs. “Here they were, in all their glory: Dusty Springfield’s “Goin’ Back,” “The Shadows’ “The rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt,” Cilla Black’s “Anyone who had a Heart,” and “Alfie,” Sandie Shaw’s “Always Something There to Remind Me,” “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals and “As Tears go By” by Marianne Faithful.” There were more references as Banks took a walk down memory lane.

Chapter twelve : That evening at home Banks glanced through the evening paper over a Madras curry he’d bought at Marks and Spencers, slipped a Bill Evans’ Paris Concert into the CD player, poured a couple of fingers of Lahroaig and flopped on the sofa with his 1965 Photoplay diary.”



Chapter three: “Banks bought a pint of Black Sheep bitter and a packet of cheese and onion crisps, sat down as far from the door as he could….”

Chapter Four: Banks and DI Michelle Hart meet in a pub to discuss the case at hand. They order a pint and shandy, Michelle ordered a prawn sandwich while Banks goes for a huge Yorkshire pudding filled with sausages and gravy.

Chapter ten: DI Michelle Hart meets a witness in the pub to discuss a prior case. They order Guinness, Cumberland Sausages and mashed potatoes, roast beef and mentioned avoiding the Lamb Curry.

There were strong opinions about Margaret Thatcher included in this book too.

“And what came between them and Blair’s Britain? Mostly, Margaret Thatcher, who dismantled the country’s manufacturing base, emasculating the trade unions and demoralizing the workman, leaving the north especially a ghost land of empty factories, thrift shops and decaying council estates, where those growing up had no hope of a job. In the idleness and hopelessness, many turned to crime and vandalism; car theft became commonplace; and the police became the enemy of the people..”


Coronation Street

The character Alan Banks speaks about a television show called Coronation Street. It was one of the “rituals every Monday and Wednesday when , when tea was over and dishes washed and out away, homework and odd jobs done, the family sat down to watch television together.”  I may need to check on this show!

I enjoyed this book. The two different murder investigations were different enough to keep separate but when I set the book aside for a few days, I had to think about some of it before continuing.

Linking up with Joy’s British Isles Friday and Kirsty at The Overflowing Library for the British Book Challenge. Also Adding my review to Goodreads and Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking Series.


Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

22 thoughts on “Inspector Banks: Music and Murder

  1. Oh my, where to start??

    I love Inspector Banks books. Think I’ve read them all, but don’t remember this one. Will check it out at the library.

    Coronation Street – we get it for 1/2 hour every evening, we PVR it and then watch in one sitting. You should be able to find it on Youtube, we did that when we were away one time.

    Music – I too love the musical references in the books. You took me down with memory lane with chapter 6 – House of the Rising Sun is my all time number favourite song ever.
    I also like to check out his other eclectic selections.

    Marks and Spencers – how I miss them in Toronto. They pulled out quite a few years ago. But as serendipity goes I heard this week that they now have an online shop for Canadians!!

    Food – we went for great curry last week but there is nothing like an English one.
    Cheese and onion crisps – love them and can find the Irish brand Walker’s here in Toronto.
    Prawn sandwiches is my go to in a British pub.
    Yorkshire pudding – was thinking of making it on Sunday with roast beef and mashed potatoes along with mushy peas.
    Guinness – funny I only drink it when I’m in Ireland.

    I guess you could say I am an Anglophile!!!

    Thanks for this.


    • Thank you so much for your comment, Jackie! I just love Alan Banks and am eager to see where the next books take him in his career and romantic entanglements.

      I have never been to a Spencers and Marks but would love to. All of the musical references have been interesting to me for years but I never thought to write them down as I read along. And yes, I sure could say you are an Anglophile!!


  2. I love all the music and food references. One of the things we really liked about traveling in England was the quality of the take-out food from Marks and Spencers and other places. Much better than anything we can get here.


    • If we are able to make a trip to England I definitely want to visit Marks and Spencer’s, I have been missing out! We have ordered some Irish foods online before and that turned out to be a positive experience. Maybe Marks and Spencers has an online store too.


  3. Love the food and drink . . . . and music . . . references. I haven’t read an Inspector Banks book in ages. I remember really liking them.


  4. Hopping through a second time with my Weekend Cooking hat on. Sausages and potatoes is sounding good to me right now. Must be time for breakfast!


  5. Fun review! I always see your Inspector Banks book reviews on Goodreads and think I need to try them but I have so many in my TBR pile that new series with lots of books already always make me cringe a bit. 🙂 I love all of the food and movie references–you could make a great classic playlist from his album collection. The couple of times I visited the UK for work I didn’t get a ton of free time but I had to drag myself out of Marks and Spencers food section several times–I wanted to buy/try everything!


  6. Harry Bosch listens to jazz music, and drinks beer, I think. I listen to all of Michael Connelly’s books on audio, and they sound a little similar in style, so I think I should try Gallows View on audio if I can find it. I’ve read some of Peter Robinson’s books, but none of the Banks books.


  7. Pingback: Theeb #FilmReview #BriFri | Joy's Book Blog

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