A pleasingly unpretentious debut that introduces Constable Evan Evans, newly arrived in Llanfair, a village at the foot of Mount Snowden in North Wales. Evans, in police training in the busy city of Swansea, opted for the quiet life after his father, also a policeman, was killed in the line of duty. That quiet life becomes illusory, however, when the bodies of two strangers, Thomas Hatcher and Stewart Potts, are found on the mountain, seemingly killed in separate accidents. A recovered postcard indicates that they'd come to the mountain in memory of their Army buddy Danny Bartholomew, who died there during Army traianing six years before. Evans isn't convinced the deaths were accidental and, working on his own, finds bits and pieces of inconclusive evidence. But his murder scenario gains strength when a young climber is found, his throat slashed, in a mountain cave. A not-too-polite struggle between lusty barmaid Betsy and schoolteacher Bronwen for Evans's attention, and sporadic calls from preacher's wife Mrs. Powell-Jones about her vanished apple pie and damaged garden plants, give Evans some lighter moments. Then comes yet another hike up the mountain and a confrontation that finally links the past to the violent events of the present. The plotting is far from airtight, but the writing is tidy and straightforward. Llanfair, with its challenging mountain and well drawn locals, is appealing, as is Constable Evans, a kind of Welsh version of M.C. Beaton's Hamish MacBeth.