Friday, 25 November 2022

The Automobile Assassination by M J Porter

fiction set in England during WWII


"Wouldn't this be something if we'd uncovered some spying activity because of this? Your name would be in the national newspapers again." Mason didn't much like the thought of drawing attention to himself once more, but he was beginning to thinkk, as O'Rourke was, that there was something mighty intriguing going on. And, he admitted, perhaps it would be good not to be known as the custard copper".

The Automobile Assassination by MJ Porter is a historical mystery/police procedural, set in Erdington in the 1940s. 

This is the second book in the series. It reads perfectly well as a standalone, but reading the first book will give you a better understanding of the dynamics among the police unit, and explain some of the references to the previous big case.

Erdington, September 1944.

Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station and Constable O'Rourke are tasked to assist Sergeant Jones on the counterfeiting scam case. It had rumbled on for too long now, on a bigger scale, with a vily mastermind behind it.

"If he could just work out who was doing what and how they were doing it, Jones would be able to take the acclaim for solving the pesky counterfeit scam. Sergeant Jones would apprecaite it far more than Sam ever could. There had been cases of counterfeit ration books before, but this was something else entirely. Or so it seemed. Yet, the resolution remained just out of reach".

At the same time Mason is called to look into a new case, this time concerning a dead body found outside the Castle Bromwich aerodrome. The body appears to be in a bizarre position, shockingly bent double. With no identification papers or reports of missing persons, the identity of the murder victim is a mystery.

Mason and O'Rourke begin their investigation at the aerodrome.

"It seemed obvious to suspect something to do wiith the Royal Air Force. But perhaps that was what the person who'd killed the man had wanted them to think. It might be little more than a red herring... It was undoubtedly a good way of distracting them. The higher authorities would insist on a thorough investigation. Just in case the man had been compromised in some way. There were spies and counterspies, allegedly, throughout Great Britain".

The Royal Air Force personnel appear to be their prime suspects, but are they? Is the murder victim a spy? Is the place where his body has been found a random choice, or is it meaningful? Why does noone at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, who's recently solved the so called The Custard Corpses case (see book 1), which has dogged his career for two decades, is resolute to discover the identity of the dead man, and track down his assassin. 

His boss, Smythe, is eager for Mason to deal with the counterfeiting scam, which is a plague on the local shopkeepers. Once again, the cases seem to be impossible to solve.

At first glance, Mason and o'Rourke seem an unlikely team. Mason, beleagured by the health issues, is not as spritely and physically fit as his younger colleague. But both of them are smart, observant, intelligent at slotting the pieces of the puzzle together, and complement each other.

The Automobile Assassination, like its predecessor, is written in the style of the classic crime fiction. It has that evocative mode of writing.

It is as much a historical fiction as a crime mystery story. The details of the historical background are well-researched, authentic and true to life.

A gripping atmosperic page turner, with engaging characters, and rich in historical detail.

This review is part of the Book Birthday Blitz for The Automobile Assassination.

Many thanks to MJ Porter and Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of the book!

Chez Maximka

 Purchase Link -

Author Bio – MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author's writing destiny was set.


Social Media Links –








Amazon Author Page:


books set in England during WWII


  1. Thank you for reviewing and hosting The Automobile Assassination. I'm glad you enjoyed the book:)

    1. Thank you! It's a fascinating series. Looking forward to the next book, and hope O'Rourke will find personal happiness too. :)