Book Review: So Long at the Fair by Pat Herbert



‘Oh dear, what can the matter be ….’

Why does a woman keep falling from the Big Wheel at a South London fair?

Hallucination or something more sinister? It seems that Robbie MacTavish and Mrs Harper’s great-nephew Alfie are the only two people who can see her.

Meanwhile, Rev. Bernard Paltoquet is asked to investigate a 60-year-old mystery, when the Vicarage plumber asks for his help in tracing his long-lost grandmother. As Robbie tries to discover who the falling woman is and what she wants, Bernard begins to uncover the tragic events surrounding Albert’s grandmother’s fate.

Available on Amazon.

My Review

I have read several of the Reverend Paltoquet books. I always enjoy reading series’ with the same characters who become almost like friends.

I like the prologue. I wondered for a long time how in the world it fit into the story but eventually, it came to light, and I thought it was clever.

So Long at the Fair starts in the 1890s with the widow Olivia Ayrton-Williams whose sole purpose seems to be finding a new husband who can afford to keep her in the manner she’s used to living. She’s gorgeous so it shouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately for other women, she doesn’t care if her conquest is single or married.

Olivia is selfish to a fault and is willing to do anything to get what she wants. She ends up ruining several lives in her short life, and after she’s murdered, she’s still not happy because the wrong person was convicted for her murder. Her spirit is now stuck with the Big Wheel at the fair where her murder occurred until her murder is avenged. At no point in time did I feel sorry for Olivia.

Fast forward to 1959 when Bernard Paltoquet’s housekeeper’s grandnephew comes to stay at the vicarage. Bernard and his best friend Robbie take the rascal to the fair, and he sees the ghost of Olivia falling from the Big Wheel. Robbie sees her too and he can’t get her out of his mind. He enlists Bernard to help him find out who this woman is.

I like how all of the pieces fit together. I especially liked the ending. So Long at the Fair is a good read, especially if you like mysteries with a touch of paranormal. This book does stand on its own, but it’s even better when read as part of the series.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and work as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin.  Pat has written fifteen novels to date:

Other novels in the Rev. Paltoquet series:

The Bockhampton Road Murders

Haunted Christmas

The Possession of November Jones

The Witches of Wandsworth

The Man Who Was Death

The Dark Side of the Mirror

Sleeping With the Dead

The Corpse Wore Red

Seeing Double

The Barney Carmichael Crime series:

Getting Away with Murder

The Murder in Weeping Lane

The Mop and Bucket Murders

Also by Pat Herbert:

Death Comes Gift Wrapped

The Long Shadow


3 thoughts on “Book Review: So Long at the Fair by Pat Herbert

  1. beth August 23, 2019 / 6:17 am

    This sounds like something I’d really enjoy – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. badgerkin August 23, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    …and thank-you, too, for listing the previous volumes of this, and the Crime series. Lots to look forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sleepygirl2 August 23, 2019 / 12:50 pm

      I think one of the reasons I like her books is that they’re like a puzzle in which all of the pieces fit at the end. Sometimes I can figure most of it out but usually, there are a few surprises.


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