Walter Bain is the self-appointed dictator of the tenement at 13 Oldberry Road in Glasgow’s cosmopolitan west end. For years, Walter has striven to impose his family values – stairs must be regularly washed, noise kept down, and wheelie bins moved back and forth at the correct times. When Walter is found murdered, there are plenty of suspects among his ungrateful neighbours. Comic book dealer Billy Briggs is estranged from his daughter, with his business in ruins, and Tony Miller is jobless and facing eviction, all because of Walter. Henrietta Quayle, bullied and belittled by the dead man, conceals a murderous obsession beneath her timid exterior. And alcoholic solicitor Gus Mackinnon has even more reason to hate Walter than anyone else. As Close Quarters takes a look back over the years at the various turbulent relationships between Walter and his neighbours, one thing becomes clear: although only one may be the murderer, none of them will mourn his passing. Close Quarters is primarily a comedy and will particularly appeal to Scottish readers, as it satirises the traditional and sentimental view of Glasgow’s tenement life by placing it in a modern setting. The book will also appeal to readers of crime fiction.
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