Thursday, 7 October 2010
Playing with Bones by Kate Ellis
The body of a young woman has been found in Singmass Close, and the murder seems to imitate a spate of killings that took place in the Close in the 1950s. Could it be the same person? There were certain details not released to the public at the time of the first murders which are present here, but Joe and his boss Emily don't intially have much success following up the people involved at the time, and the killer was never caught. Meanwhile, another young woman has gone missing from home, although her mother doesn't seem to be taking her disappearance very seriously, and a convicted murderer has escaped from custody. To add to the overwork and strain, Joe is having trouble with his love life, and Emily is worried about her small daughter.
This series in settling in well, I think, continuing to draw on the author's evident interest in local history, and the two main characters and their working relationship are developing nicely. There is room to flesh out some of the other police officers, and I'd like to see more of Joe's friend, Canon Merriweather. These are gentle mysteries, with just a little otherworldly frisson and some mildly spooky settings in Eborby's medieval streets and closes. I might not sound quite so complacent if I were reading them alone in a medieval city at night, so I think they continue to earn their place on my RIPV reading list!