Today’s Mystery Monday review involves three separate cases of four murders that lead Inspector Andy Parish a merry dance through southwest England and north Wales. The inspector, whose marriage had ended a year earlier, had finally made the decision to put his house on the market and distance himself from the memories associated with it. He knows that moving is one of life’s main stressers. An attraction between Parish and Detective Sergeant Fee Gibson is one more complication.
Shona Phillips is suspicious that her husband Todd is having an affair — he’s been so preoccupied and inattentive lately and subject to outbursts of anger, leaving her hurt and discontent. So when the handsome, well-dressed Mike Chambers, a recent frequenter of Elston Public Library, tells her on Monday that he’s leaving town on Wednesday and would love to have lunch with her on Tuesday, her day off, she only hesitates briefly before accepting his invitation to meet in the swank dining room of his hotel in a nearby village.
Parish begins his Monday morning looking at the body of an elderly man, the subject of a hit and run, his mangled bike at the side of Badger’s Point Lane, his body a mass of broken bones a few feet away. No-one has reported anyone missing and he has no I.D.
Wednesday morning, Parish is called to the White Hart Hotel in Dodley to view the body of one, Mike Chambers, shot in the forehead with a single bullet while lying on the bed in his room. Evidence from the desk clerk tells them only one person checked out the evening before, an elderly lady with a walker. The chamber maid who found him seemed a bit dim-witted and odd but not necessarily a suspect.
By Saturday morning, the chambermaid is found dead sitting in the kitchen of her farm, and Shona is wanted by the police for questioning. Sunday morning sees Todd and his friend Simon sitting in Parish’s office telling a bizarre story of the discovery of two skeletons sealed in the basement of one of the cottages on the manor property.
This is a complex plot with many interesting and misleading characters which, along with a judicious use of foreshadowing, make it a rather compelling read. This is the 3rd novel by author Lou Peters but the only one I’ve read. Her knowledge of police procedure and the area in which her plot takes place seems well-grounded. I will look forward to another instalment in the Inspector Parish Mysteries. * * * *
It’s very easy to participate in my Mystery Monday meme. Just post a review of your latest mystery read on your own site, and then a comment on my post with a link to yours. Drag or copy my meme logo and add it to your post along with these few rules. Simplicity itself! I look forward to learning about more great mysteries to add to my ever-growing list of To Be Read.