Warning at One
Berkley, Nov 2008, $22.95
Lois Meade owns New Brooms cleaners, a store that cleans people’s homes in the villages of Tresham and Long Farnden, England. Her husband is a local electrician and they have raised three adult children. They also own rental property in Tresham, but are having problems with elderly tenant Clement Fitch; in actuality with his noisy cockatiel Satan who wakes everyone up before daylight. In fact the bird has forced tenants to move out so the Meades have vacancies.
Their oldest son Douglas rents one of the rooms from his parents. Soon after he moves in, someone kills Clem and Satan. The police led by Detective Chief Inspector Cowsill consider Douglas a prime suspect so Lois decides to investigate to prove her son did not kill her dead tenant.
This is an engaging amateur sleuth starring a somewhat eccentric heroine (she is an unpaid police informant) and an interesting support cast to include Satan, the Meade family, and a new neighbor who is allegedly almost blind. Although the plot is thin, fans of English village cozies will enjoy Ann Purser’s well written tale as Lois works her second case (see SORROW ON SUNDAY).