Another York, England, mystery (Playing God, 1989) from Regency-specialist Whitehead, who, in the best sense, champions the cause of the small, precise Englishvillage crime novel. When Detective Inspector Dave Smart, a widower, stumbles on the body of hauntingly lovely social worker Patricia Feltame, he is mesmerized by her and refuses to accept the pathologist's report: an aneurysm. Calling in a more experienced forensic man, Smart learns that Patricia was felled with a karate chop. But why? This well-liked woman had no enemies--a distant mother, perhaps, and an often traveling father, and a troubled twin brother, Sebastian, struggling with a drag addiction, but they'd hardly want her dead. But Smart, aided by policewoman Jenny Wren, traces Patricia's last hours and discovers she might have put in the anonymous phone call to the police alerting them to a plan to distribute drugs at the York races. This call leads him to a scruffy waterside pub and, finally, to Patricia's last-dinner companion--the person responsible for rehooking her beloved twin. Taut, with keen characterizations and a well-handled description of a man coming to emotional life again. The insightful Whitehead is a pleasure to read. And no one will be able to resist the wonders of her York.