16 December 2021

Review: BELLS ON HER TOES, Diana Febry

  • #2 in the Peter Hatherall series
  • this edition from Amazon for Kindle 
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07D5F91TF
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 17, 2018
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 366 pages 

Synopsis (Amazon)

A mystery featuring DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams.The police are baffled by the discovery of a stranger shot in the forehead in a disused barn. When people connected to Elmsgrove Racing Stables start turning up dead the race is on to uncover how the stranger is connected to the area and who is behind the murders.The racing community is about to learn their deadliest enemy may be someone close. The quiet drinker in the corner of the pub may be a serial killer. And the crazy drunk may be the key to unlocking the mystery.A classic murder mystery. 

My Take

I kept thinking throughout this novel what a strange pair these detectives are. Fiona Williams is given to flights of imagination and Peter Hatherall is at times  an unmitigated disaster, and an extreme liability to his partner. They are constantly coming up with unlikely scenarios particularly related to the motives for the murders they are investigating. Both have domestic problems and in Hatherall's case these frequently impact on his ability to work. Hatherall appears to be often on the brink of dismissal.

In the working out of the plot there are some extremely interesting characters, including Bunny, the ex-actress married to the Earl, Gladys who also sees herself as an ex-actress, a friend of Bunny's, and is married to one of the murder victims. (For me she came across as a bit over-drawn and much younger than she in fact is.) In an effort to provide a series of red herrings, the author comes up with a considerable range of sub-plots.

By the end there are three bodies resulting from linked elements in the plots.

A good read.

My rating: 4.4

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