Monday, April 9, 2012

The Wild Wood Enquiry-Ann Purser

The Wild Wood Enquiry

Ann Purser

Berkley Prime Crime, May 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425248041

In Barrington, England the Enquire Within quartet (Ivy Beasley, her cousin Deidre Bloxham, her fiancĂ© Roy Goodman and mysterious Augustus "Gus" Halfhide) are bored after solving recent murder mysteries (see The Measby Murder Enquiry and the Hangman’s Row Enquiry). Their only case lately is finding the missing cat Posey Moon.

Gus’ ex-wife Katherine calls claiming she needs his help. He wants nothing to do with her as she is a con artist who pretends interest in others while using charm to get what she wants. Her activities often cross the ethics line. She comes to his cottage begging him to let her stay for a few days. He says no, but his good hearted neighbor Miriam Blake offers her a place to stay. Later Miriam realizes her foolishness as she wants to win Gus’s heart. The next day Miriam finds Kath gone. She and her friend Rose Budd enter the woods searching for Kath, but find a hand instead. Detective Inspector Frobisher follows Miriam into the woods where there is no hand. The Enquire Within search for Kath and why she came to Barrington.

This is a fun though somewhat slow cozy starring retirees doing an enquiry in which there may have been foul play and loot involved, but they have no evidence of a murder or any valuables stolen; only Gus’ belief Kath has pulled a stunt while Frobisher wonders if Gus pulled a stunt. Initially more of a character study than an amateur sleuth, the storyline picks up the pace when Kath’s antics begin to surface. Readers who enjoy a British leisurely paced mystery will want to read The Wild Wood Enquiry.

Harriet Klausner

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