A harvest of bodies found in the kitchen garden of an estate leads to a whopper of a case for the crew at Micklegate Bar.
Bromyards was the place to work in the tiny village of Milking Nook, on the road between Driffield and York. Mr. Housecarl was kind to his employees and the villagers alike, helping the former with money for emergencies and allowing the latter to poach freely on his land. But as he aged, the landowner withdrew, laying off his staff one by one and ending his days in a single room, living on Meals on Wheels. No wonder that after his death, Housecarl’s solicitor finds nearly all the doors of Bromyards stuck shut. But when he tries the door to the walled kitchen garden, it swings open freely, revealing a horrifying sight: at least five bodies in various stages of decomposition. DCI George Hennessey (Deliver Us from Evil, 2010, etc.) assists medical examiner Louise D’Acre in establishing the ages of the corpses and pretty soon matches them with a list of missing women. But Commander Sharkey, trotting out the old chestnut about Johnny Taighe, who died of a stroke after being assigned to senior math, confines Hennessey to his desk. So it’s up to Hennessey’s mates—Yellich, Webster, Ventnor and Pharoah—to discover how the dead women were connected in life.
Painting domestic details with a pastry brush rather than a spatula, Turnbull delivers a red-meat procedural sure to please the most demanding pound-the-pavement fan.