Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tragedy at Two-Ann Purser

Tragedy at Two
Ann Purser
Berkley, Dec 2009, $23.95
ISBN: 9780425230060

In Long Farden Josie Meade is considering ending her relationship with her partner Rob. When they have fight leading to his accusing her of an affair with a cop, he runs out and goes to the pub where he gets drunk and acts violently out of character. That night he is found on the road severely battered. He is rushed to the hospital where he lingers for a few days before dying. Josie feels guilty.

Detective Chief Inspector Cowgill leads the investigation in which many of the townsfolk believe gypsies camped nearby killed Rob. Josie’s mom Lois, owner of New Brooms cleaning firm and amateur sleuth consultant to Cowgill thinks otherwise having met the group’s matriarch Athalia Lee. Although this case is personal and her husband Derek the electrician wants her to stay out of the inquiry, Lois assists the DCI by “ferretin”.

This is an entertaining English village whodunit that is very personal for the heroine; so much so Cowgill is hesitant to use Lois as a resource. Much of the first half of the story line focuses on family dynamics inside a small village in which everyone knows everyone so secrets are difficult to conceal, but if the hidden is achieved it becomes more shocking when revealed. Fans of the Lois Meade amateur sleuths will enjoy a deep look at the heroine, her friends and neighbors when a Tragedy at Two occurs.

Harriet Klausner