When the body of Warren Howe, master landscaper and equally masterful ladies' man, is found hacked apart with a scythe in a garden in Old Sawrey, England, suspicion falls on his wife, Tina, in Edwards's engaging second Lake District mystery (after 2004's The Coffin Trail). But Tina has an alibi, and the case remains open. Years later, the police receive an anonymous note about Howe's murder, and DCI Hannah Scarlett determines to solve the crime. Is a spurned ex-lover responsible for the brutal killing-or Howe's business partner, eager to have both the landscaping firm and Howe's wife to himself? Or maybe Tina's alibi isn't so unshakeable after all. In her search for answers, Hannah uncovers suicide, incest and illicit affairs. Indeed, Hannah finds her own eye wandering toward Daniel Kind, a noted historian who enjoys sleuthing in his spare time-and Daniel, though ostensibly happily partnered with a charming reporter, returns the affection. Nearly every page yields new revelations in this delectable village caper. Agent, Georges Borchardt. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Historian Daniel Kind has left the BBC, but he can't shake loose of unsolved murders that have baffled the Cumbria Constabulary. Years and years ago, somebody took a well-earned scythe to philandering gardener Warren Howe. Now a series of anonymous notes accuse Warren's nearest and dearest of adultery and murder and demanding that DCI Hannah Scarlett's Cold Case Team reopen the investigation. Was the killer Warren's long-suffering Tina, as the notes claim, or the son or daughter who gave her an alibi? Is the equally solid alibi of publisher Roz Gleave, whose garden became a crime scene, a little too convenient? Had Gail Flint, wife of Warren's partner Peter, decided that her fling with Warren was too demeaning to bear? As Hannah and her team patiently pursue musty leads, Daniel (The Coffin Trail, not reviewed) ponders the coincidence of Tarn Cottage's first owners both dying a year to the day after their son, killed 100 years ago in the Boer War. The hothouse intrigue winding from past to present won't end until everyone in Brackdale, even the police, is pulled into its web. Edwards (Eve of Destruction, 1998, etc.) expertly scatters clues to an ugly series of surprises in the quiet manner of Peter Robinson and the early P.D. James. English village life, as they're always saying, will never be the same.
Praise for The Coffin Trail
""With its twisty plot, atmospheric setting, and typical English-village characters, this new series from British crime novelist Edwards will appeal to Peter Robinson and Reginald Hill devotees.""