Mr. Mosley is a new detective-hero--and ""John Greenwood"" is a new pseudonym--for talented veteran John Buxton Hilton, who takes a particularly light, amused approach in this opener of a Lancashire-cop series. Mosley, you see, is a shambling sort, much-scorned by his colleagues, with only a couple of murder cases in his 30-year rural career. But, with help from his private, indexed diary (a three-decade record of all local-gossip tidbits), the slow-moving Inspector does a grand job with the murder of Brenda Cryer--a 35-ish woman who had only recently returned to her small town. . . after a notorious life as double-divorcee, laborer, and shady lady. Mosley delves into Brenda's past; he locates--and gets some useful data from--Brenda's semi-senile mother; he eventually wins over young Sergeant Beamish, a devotee of modern methods. And when the investigation also leads to the network of a master criminal (Hilton has always been over-fond of master criminals), Mosley runs afoul of the police higher-ups. . . but comes out on top all around. Routine in plot, but loaded with charm, character, and north-of-England atmosphere: a welcome send-off for plucky, low-key Mr. Mosley.