The Basil Copper thread at the original Vault, here, is quite long - novels, collections, lots of members' posts - and could be tricky to transfer. So for the moment, I'll put my novels posts on separate threads.
Necropolis by Basil Copper (Sphere 1981)
First published the previous year in hardback, I believe.
From the cover blurb:
Private Dective Clyde Beatty's suspicions are aroused when he is approached by the lovely Angela Meredith to investigate the circumstances surrounding her father's death. And when an autopsy reveals the hideous truth about her father's corpse, Beatty sets forth on a macabre trail of conspiracy and murder that leads back to Brookwood Cemetery. There, in the vast Victorian city of the dead, amidst ancient mausoleums and sepulchral spires, Beatty stalks an ungodly prey. While beneath the hallowed ground, in subterranean catacombs, Blackwood's deadliest secret of all holds the key to Beatty's life... or death.
"Feverish gaslight gothic that's as rich in atmosphere as it is in ghoulish doings" - Kirkus Reviews
"A dark, exotic Gothic thriller... Excellent!" - Booklist
Back in the 90's I wrote the comments below after reading it. I wasn't very kind. I suppose I hadn't begun to 'mellow with age' at that time...
"Victorian London. Private detective Clyde Beatty is approached by Angela Meridith to investigate the circumstances surrounding her father's death. His investigations lead him to Brookwood, a vast cemetery in Surrey - once the largest in the world. Something odd is going on in Brookwood. Or under it. And London is bedevilled by a spate of bullion robberies, which has the Yard baffled.
"Copper has written an unashamedly Gothic Sherlock Holmes pastiche. The romantic interest is Mills & Boonish, and Beatty and his assistant Dotterell come across as something more at home in a Doc Savage story than a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The settings - including Brookwood, with its vast Glades of Remembrance, and period details, like the white-painted 'ghost train' which daily carried mourners and coffins from Waterloo Station to Brookwood - exist, or once did. The evocations of the snow-covered Victorian countryside are effective. But the novel suffers from purple prose, padding, and a transparently obvious plot. With better characterisation and a few surprises, this one might have been quite memorable; as it is, it just plods. Not so much 'Feverish gaslight gothic' as a warmed-over stew."
Flipping through the book again, today, I see there's poisoning, a Brookfield Nursing Home of dubious repute and mysterious bank robberies. Frankly, with that setting, it all seemed to me like a wasted opportunity, and didn't put me in the mood to read The Great White Space which is still unopened on the shelf.