‘a delightful amateur sleuth novel with a well balanced mix of domestic and academic life and a strong sense of place.’ [Stage Fright]


Martin Edwards The Crooked Shore

The Crooked Shore got off to a splendid start. I always enjoy a cold case enquiry. Twenty-one years ago, Ramona Smith left the bar in Bowness where she worked and was never seen again. No body was ever found, but there was plenty of circumstantiai evidence and it all pointed to Gerry Lace as her murderer. He was tried, but not convicted. Not long afterwards he committed suicide by walking onto quicksands and drowning and now twenty years later his son has done the same thing. DCI Hannah Scarlet is asked to review the original case.

The Crooked Shore is the eighth in the Lake District Cold Case Mysteries, and it was good to get acquainted again with Hannah Scarlett and with Daniel Kind, the historian, with whom she has an off-on relationship. There is added piquancy to this particular cold case as the officer in charge was Ben Kind, Daniel’s father, and Hannah’s mentor. Did he get it wrong all those years ago?

There is a splendidly labyrinthine plot and a great cast of characters, many with secrets in their past. There is Kingsley Melton, a failing estate agent in thrall to a glamorous older woman. Does he know more than he admitted at the time of Ramona’s disappearance? He’s certainly hiding something. And there’s Ramona’s boss with whom she’d had an affair ….

Meanwhile Daniel has returned from a lecture tour of the US, and he and Hannah are not getting on too well. His sister is keen to set him up with her attractive new friend …

I raced through this book and enjoyed it enormously. There were points where I thought I knew where things were going, but I was wrong-footed at pretty much every turn and the end came as a complete surprise. All this and a visit to the Lake District. What more could you ask for? Except, of course, for the next instalment.

Thank you to Alison and Busby for my copy of The Crooked Shore.

Here are the other stops on the blog tour.


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