A metropolitan detective finds exurban murder a challenge when he’s sent to Horsham to investigate the death of an industrialist’s trophy wife.
As if his reassignment to “Melrose,” the Met’s new intelligence unit, weren’t bad enough, Det. Supt. Roger Hayes (Blue Murder, 2006) finds he can’t even enjoy the luxury of his posh new office near Pimlico—not when he gets exiled to Horsham, an hour outside London, to probe the murder of Suzie, pretty young wife of Sir William Brigham, a pharmaceutical magnate recently tapped to head the EU Medical Coordination Unit. Brigham’s profile is high enough to warrant Melrose’s involvement, but his ties to village life are deep enough to raise the hackles of Horsham’s DI Clarke at what he regards as Hayes’s interference. The staff at Aspern Grange, Brigham’s estate, are predictably closemouthed when Hayes asks why housekeeper Cissie Cosham was sent to live off premises and why farm manager Bill Wickham has been moving Suzie’s prized horses to Ireland. But village tongues do wag, and soon Hayes and his sergeant, Morwenna Prentice, formerly of the Major Fraud unit, are put in the picture about the catfight between Sir William’s first wife, Zita, and the new Lady Brigham; the engagement between Lady Eva, Sir William’s daughter, and Freddie MacCann; and all the other tittle-tattle that eventually leads them to the killer.
A step-by-step procedural likely to please fans of the traditional whodunit.