Anthem for Doomed Youth
Minotaur, Mar 29 2011, $24.99
In 1926, three male corpses are found in a shallow grave in Epping Forest. Local police officer Di Grant leads the inquiry until Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher and his team arrives at the crime scene. Irate with the outside interference, Grant leaves.
Alec knows they must identify the deceased and find what connects them if they are to solve the homicides. To his chagrin as his boss told him to keep his spouse away from the case, his wife, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher, suggest a World War I link. One of the dead was abusive Colonel Pelham, whose wife is euphoric that the bully is dead. The two other victims were much younger than the Colonel so could have served during the war under his command. Meanwhile Daisy and her friends (Melanie and Sakari) attend a sports day at their daughters' school. The three moms meet bully boys game teacher Harriman and other teachers still suffering from their service time. When Melanie's daughter finds Harriman's corpse, Daisy protects the girls from the incompetent investigation conducted by Gant.
This is a fabulous Post WWI murder mystery starring delightful Daisy who goes out of her way to not get involved but that proves Sheer Folly as she ends up the thick of things. The story line is fast-paced yet provides a sense of being in England in 1926 through the Fletcher family and their friends, and especially through the war veterans as many suffered from undiagnosed Battle Fatigue. Fans of the series or anyone who appreciate an entertaining yet insightful early twentieth century British mystery will appreciate Anthem for Doomed Youth.