Two of Elmhurst’s finest, Rafferty and Llewellyn (Bad Blood, May 2005, etc.), share a host of woes, personal and professional, in the eighth of Evans’s offbeat procedurals.
Since DS Dafyd Llewellyn is married to DI Joe Rafferty’s cousin, it’s only fair that he’s returned the favor by introducing his partner to his own cousin. Now the two have formed an informal partnership of their own, with free-spirited Abra lending a welcome feminine touch to Rafferty’s Spartan bachelor flat. But his latest case threatens their unwedded bliss. Joe’s characterization of fetching Felicity Raine as too frail and winsome, despite her confession to have stabbed her husband Ray to death with a kitchen knife, does not go down well with his companion. So while Rafferty listens to neighbor Elaine Enderby talk about Felicity’s blackened eyes, questions Ray’s cousin Michael about their jointly owned fashion business and learns the peculiar details of Ray’s inheritance from solicitor Jonas Singleton, Abra heads off to Wales to help Llewellyn’s mother Gloria with a mysterious dilemma. Worried that Abra is gone for good, Joe has to keep a lid on Dafyd’s mother’s troubles while Llewellyn keeps Rafferty from spinning outlandish theories designed to save a damsel in distress.
Evans’s puzzler unfolds at a pleasant pace, fueled by her good humor and quirky characterizations.