Friday, June 6, 2008

Losing Ground-Catherine Aird

Losing Ground
Catherine Aird
St. Martin’s, Jun 2008, $23.95
ISBN: 0312368895
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In Tolmie Park near Berebury, a thief stole the eighteenth century portrait of the 4th Baronet Sir Filligee from the wall; the artist Peter de Vesey was a local Calleshire aristocratic portrait painter still well known in the region. Soon after the theft, arson occurred to the somewhat dilapidated yet majestic country house; before the roof caved in bones were seen.

Detective Chief Inspector C.D. "Seedy" Sloan, assisted by Detective Constable Crosby, leads the investigation into what may be a homicide, but art theft and arson for sure. The two cops quickly learn that the historical house and property are part of a major dispute between developers and preservationists while a nouveau riche pop star Kevin Cowlick wants to buy the estate. Sloan wonders who would go so far as to commit arson.

This is a fabulous English police procedural as Seedy works the case by following clues that lead to dead ends. The cast is solid, but it is the lead detective, his junior partner, and the estate make for a fine tale as the audience will obtain a taste of what is happening to the English historical properties. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the latest Calleshire whodunit (see HOLE IN ONE).

Harriet Klausner