Sunday 8 November 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Kidney Killer (A Penfold Detective Story) - M M Hudson

A kidnap, a theft, and a murderous moon-worshipping cult: Detective Sergeant Milburn has his work cut out to solve several cases that all appear at once.

Milburn’s job is trickier as both victims are friends with his girlfriend. He desperately needs to solve the cases but has to keep his personal involvement secret. With the clock ticking down on the fate of the second missing woman, the pressure ramps up.

Penfold, the detective’s enigmatic surfer friend, is called on to help investigate. His puzzle-solving genius helps sift real clues from red herrings. The struggle for leads is constant, until it becomes clear that Penfold and Milburn are, in fact, central to all the crimes. 

What did I think?

I'm always on the look out for books based in the North East of England, where I live, so I was delighted to discover M M Hudson's Penfold Detective series which is based in Durham.  I haven't read the first book in the series but I can say for definite that book 2, The Kidney Killer, reads perfectly well as a standalone as I absolutely loved it.

DS Tony Milburn is faced with a conflict of interest when two of his girlfriend's friends go missing.  When the police launch an enquiry into the abduction, Tony doesn't divulge that this case is personal to him as he wants to lead the hunt for the missing women.  It never rains but it pours in Durham constabulary when Tony is told to concentrate on another case, that of some missing ornamental cannons stolen from outside an army building in the city.

Tony has a secret weapon up his sleeve in the form of his surfer friend Penfold, who is rather like Sherlock Holmes with his keen powers of deduction.  For whatever reason, the police don't approve of Penfold but he clearly gets results and DS Milburn isn't one for obeying orders anyway.  I really like the Milburn and Penfold team, they work so well together even though Penfold leaves Milburn exasperated sometimes.  I love that Penfold is quite the man of mystery as Tony Milburn doesn't even know whether Penfold is his surname or forename.

There is some amazing humour written into the story but it's quite subtle so as not to downplay the seriousness of the main storyline.  There were many occasions where I laughed out loud but I don't want to refer to particular moments as it would spoil the effect for others.  It just surprised me to find so much to laugh about and I feel like I really tapped into M M Hudson's humour.

I always get a kick out of books being set in places I know well and I loved the Durham city setting of The Kidney Killer.  Many years ago I had a temporary job in Durham city and used to walk down Old Elvet into the city on a lunchtime, passing the cannons that mysteriously go missing in the story.  To be honest, I didn't cast them more than a cursory glance at the time and it was only when reading the book that it jogged my memory.  Durham is famous for its magnificent cathedral and I love how M M Hudson pays the cathedral such enormous respect in his novel that it's almost as if the cathedral is a character itself; sitting on a hill over the River Wear, the cathedral really does appear to stand aloof over the city of Durham.

An absolutely outstanding crime thriller with a dash of humour, The Kidney Killer is an exceptional detective novel.  It reads like a modern day Sherlock Holmes story, with fast-pacing and red herrings a-plenty to keep the reader turning pages as fast as possible.  It has definitely made me want to read book 1, The Cricketer's Corpse, and anything else that M M Hudson will write in the future.  Highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

As MM Hudson, I write the Penfold detective stories.

The Kidney Killer
The second Penfold story involves a kidnap, murder and a bizarre theft. DS Milburn has to keep his personal connection to the victims under wraps to avoid being thrown off the case, whilst Penfold puts together the clues to work out how it all went down.

The Cricketer's Corpse
My first novel began on 22nd March. Each day, a new chapter was made available so you could follow the murder mystery unfold in real time, following along with the exploits of DS Tony Milburn, and his off-beat, surfer friend, Penfold. It's now available as a complete book, either in paperback or for Kindle. Check it out at

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook: @milesmhudson
or sign up to my author newsletter at

I have a 30 year passion for hockey and surfing, which you may notice appears in several of my books! Hope you enjoy them.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the blog tour support Michelle x