Sir Laurence Dies

Dies Trilogy, Volume 1

Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
340 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christopher D. Abbott is the award winning author of Sir Laurence Dies, Dr Chandrix Dies, and co-author of Revolting Tales (with Todd A Curry). He has a background in human behavioural studies and psychology. Having worked in IT, communications, safety and health, and sales, he gained a good understanding of people and their behaviours. Abbott is a self confessed avid reader of crime fiction, and he took creative writing courses, which fuelled his ambition to publish a character driven crime story. He loves quirky characters such as Rodney David Wingfield's Inspector "Jack" Frost, Agatha Christie's Poirot, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. The Idea of Dr Pieter Straay, his Dutch Criminal Psychologist, came about by integrating the qualities he admires best in these characters.

Sir Laurence Dies, the 1st book in The "Dies" Trilogy, debuted in 2013, and since then it won the Bronze Award in the "Reader's Favorite 2014 Book Awards" for the Mystery - Sleuth category.

Dr. Chandrix Dies, the 2nd book in The "Dies" Trilogy, is available now.

Abbott currently live in Connecticut USA. He loves to write and play music, which is another of his passions. He enjoys cooking, hiking, reading in the sun, and is currently at school studying for a degree in psychology. He is also working on his 3rd Dr Straay novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Sir Laurence Dies is a detective mystery, written by Christopher D. Abbott, featuring Dutch psychologist, Dr. Pieter Straay, who has a keen interest in crime. He's on his way to England from Amsterdam when he's approached by Sir Laurence Gregson, a retired Lieutenant Colonel. Sir Laurence is a severely disfigured survivor of World War I. He invites Straay to come stay at his estate after confiding that he fears someone is trying to kill him. Sir Laurence recounts a near hunting accident and a later boating accident that, combined with some ominous whispering he overheard, have made him feel sure that his life is in danger. Straay accepts his offer and arranges to come for dinner at the estate. The trains are late, however, and Straay misses the dinner, but is able to observe the inhabitants of the house that evening.

Christopher D. Abbott's detective story is a first-rate murder mystery with an engaging Dutch psychologist-sleuth. The reader gets to follow as Dr. Straay and his friend Chief Inspector Drake interview Sir Laurence's family, friends, and staff after his apparent suicide on the night of Straay's arrival. This is a stylish and enjoyable mystery that keeps the reader guessing as Straay and Drake consider clues, motives, and inconsistencies. Fans of Christie and Holmes alike should enjoy Sir Laurence Dies as well as anyone who likes police procedurals. I was caught up in the plot from the very first pages and found it to be quite entertaining and not at all predictable.

Kay House

This is a beautifully written cozy historical police procedural. I read the Kindle version, and it was clear to me that the occasional typographical error had to do exclusively with the publishing medium. Mr. Abbot's writing is elegant, and his diction is precise. He has set his mystery principally between the World Wars, and he demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the first half of the 20th Century.

This book is a cross between cozy and police procedural, and it hits that perfect spot so that you feel a little as if you're with Dame Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Dame Ngaio Marsh or Dorothy Sayers. The characters are full. The detectives are engaging. The plot is full of twists and turns, and the rules for detective stories laid out by Ms. Sayers and protected by Dame Agatha are adhered to faithfully.

I enjoyed the book so much that I kept turning its pages instead of running the errands I had planned to do, and I'm giving thanks for it by writing this review while I should be catching up on them. Dr. Pieter Straay is an engaging detective, and his cooperation with "the force" is well crafted.

Well done, Mr. Abbot! I'm eager to read your next book.

Nigel Fields

Lovers of British mysteries can rightly accompany their read of Sir Laurence Dies with tea and crumpets, a glass of port by the fire or in quiet solitude. In any case, this debut novel by Christopher Abbott will satisfy. After an Agathaesque beginning, the middle becomes uniquely Abbottesque, very clever and interesting; it kept me guessing and turning the pages. The ending left me speechless. You will enjoy this new classic

Sharon Galleerani

A very good British "drawing room " mystery. Very well done. I look forward to more books by this author

S. R. Harrison

If you are a fan of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, you'll love Dr Pieter Straay. Sir Laurence Dies is a Christie style, English mystery that has you searching through a labyrinth of suspects and clues. Just when you think you have it all figured out, there is one last twist that takes you by surprise. Mr. Abbott is a master of plotting, description and dialogue. I can't wait to read the next Dr. Straay mystery.

Tracey Williams

If you like the old style British mystery you will like this book. Lots of logic and a bit of psychology. I wish the detective had a few more ideosychrosies like Poirot, but it was well written. Looking forward to another one.


The Dutch psychologist-sleuth may just be coming into fashion, especially for British television adaptation where the Poirot series finished recently and left about 10- million viewers looking for the next period whodunit.
'Sir Laurence Dies' is a very well crafted tale reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The grand whodunnit will never die because it taps into mankind's basic instinct of curiosity. We all want to know ... What happens next?; also the Art Deco period of the Dr Straay stories makes for scintillating costume drama when applied to the big or small screen.
So, well done Mr Abbot, I sincerely hope you have the stamina to keep turning them out for the next twenty years or more - readers get attached to authors and expect an annual offering. A tough discipline for the scribe, but worth the journey.