Book Review: The Mop & Bucket Murders by Pat Herbert

The year is 1961. Barney Carmichael is about to take on his toughest case yet when a mysterious and glamorous woman walks into his office unannounced. Her request is simple: find her son. It is soon clear that the task is far from simple, however. In fact, the more Barney and brother Jim delve into the mystery, the more confusing it becomes. Meanwhile, Barney’s friend, Inspector Tony Halliday of Scotland Yard, seeks his help in solving a series of baffling murders. Charwomen at a big London office block are being picked off, seemingly at random, by an unknown assailant. The Carmichael Private Investigation agency has also taken on a bright new secretary, but when she is determined to do some investigating of her own, she makes a devastating discovery that changes her life forever. This is the third in the Barney Carmichael Private Investigator series.


“The Mop & Bucket Murders” by Pat Herbert is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon UK. 



My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Barney Carmichael and his brother Jim have become private investigators and are beginning to realize that most of their cases are going to involve missing pets and spouses wanting information on cheating spouses.

Barney keeps waiting for that one mysterious woman to come looking for help like the woman in The Maltese Falcon. Unfortunately, she’s not what he was hoping for but he’s glad to take on the case of looking for her son, especially with the retainer she gives him. I liked the comparison to The Maltese Falcon and the let down because it is something that we all do at some point: fantasize about a moment to come that is less than what we’d hoped for.

Everyone in this book is so miserable! I know part of it’s the heat but this isn’t a “feel good” book until the very end when everything comes together.

I think the way the cases intertwined was creative and I enjoyed it. At first, I thought it was going to be two separate cases they would be working on and it was interesting to read how they came together. 

I haven’t read the first two books in this series but I’m going to have to read them when I have time. This book does stand on its own and I definitely recommend it if you enjoy a good murder mystery with some twists.



About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works 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 fourteen murder-mysteries to date, including:


Reverend Paltoquet Supernatural Mystery Series:

The Bockhampton Road Murders
Haunted Christmas
The Possession of November Jones
The Witches of Wandsworth
So Long at the Fair
The Man Who Was Death
The Dark Side of the Mirror
Sleeping with the Dead
The Corpse Wore Red
Seeing Double

Barney Carmichael Murder-Mystery Series:

Getting Away With Murder
The Murder in Weeping Lane

In her novels, Pat likes to include all the hallmarks of a traditionally British murder-mystery series including quirky characters, dark deeds, humorous misunderstandings, and at times, a touch of the supernatural, and cosy cups of tea.


 Press/Media Contact Details:

 Darin Jewell (Pat Herbert’s Literary Agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency