New novels from Laurie R King & Kate Ellis
New novels by a couple of favourite mystery writers do not disappoint.
Kate Ellis is the author of a long series of mystery novels featuring Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson. The most recent, The Death Season is #19. This series began with Wesley Peterson’s arrival in the small town of Tradmouth as a young detective. Black skinned and educated he was a different breed of policeman for this small community.
We find Wesley and his family doing well in this new novel. Still married to Pam, a schoolteacher, and parents to a young daughter and a, now, teenage son. Pam has put up with more than her share of compromise as the wife of a policeman who puts his job first. His heart may be with his family, and though Wesley recognizes his choices are damaging his marriage and his children, he still works long hours – missing life at home.
The Death Season involves the murder of a man who once lived in the region and has returned, for some unknown reason, after many years of living abroad. When another murder occurs there appears to be a link and Wesley becomes involved in a case that proves dangerous for all involved. As always in this series, there is the parallel story of Wesley’s friend Neil and his archaeological dig nearby. The two cases come to a dramatic conclusion involving both the past and the present, satisfying for all involved.
Laurie R. King is the author of another popular series, this one featuring Sherlock Holmes and his wife Mary Russell. Her new book, Dreaming Spies, is set in the spring of 1925. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes have just returned from an exciting voyage by sea to Japan. Mary feels the need for a little time on her own, taking off to her own little house in Oxford, thinking, “ Holmes and I have been in each other’s pockets a bit too long”, when their next case literally shows up at the front door.
The story as always is as clever as the detectives themselves. The setting of this particular book is fascinating in its descriptions of the culture of the Japanese people in which Holmes and Russell immerse themselves while attempting to place themselves in close proximity to a suspected blackmailer. This is a high stakes investigation involving both the Emperor of Japan and the English King.
There is an antique Japanese book involved in the case and the story about the book, it’s history and its part in the investigation proves to be intriguing for both the detectives and the reader.