Crime writers take their craft seriously. And so they should. Readers are inclined to lose the plot (quite literally) if it looks like an author is having fun at their expense. Which is why it comes as a surprise that L.C. Tyler succeeds so well in turning the classic crime formula into farce while still keeping us guessing. Tyler’s hero, if that is the word, is also a crime writer though of the second or, as he ruefully concedes, even the third rank of talent. His partner in detection is his agent, a sharp-tongued virago with a talent for put-downs whose contempt for writers is as great as her fondness for fattening foods. With vigorous nods of appreciation to Agatha Christie, Herring On The Nile has the intrepid duo of incompetents embroiled in espionage, terrorism and multiple cases of mistaken identity. It’s all good fun with a climax that will make you think twice about riverboat cruises.