Puppet for a Corpse by Dorothy Simpson

1856857This is the third in Inspector Luke Thanet’s police procedural series.  Inspector Thanet has a very dogged approach to solving crime.  He methodically goes through the clues, the suspects and witnesses, the alibis, and the motives until he comes up with his final theory of the crime.  In this case, a local country doctor has committed suicide, or has he?  His young beautiful wife, an actress and celebrity in her own right doesn’t believe it is suicide.  His son and housekeeper don’t believe it either.  It is up to Inspector Thanet to sort through the clues and uncover the truth.  At the same time, he is dealing with issues in his home life with his wife Joan and his family in a subplot that allow the reader to see a very human side of the Inspector.

A relatively short, clean (as far as language, no gore, no graphic violence or sex) police procedural that is well written with an engaging Inspector as the main protagonist.  I haven’t read others in the series, I just picked this up at a library sale on impulse.  If I come across other books by Dorothy Simpson, I would give another one I try.

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Murder in the Lords by Nigel West

28323740  This was an impulse buy from my local used book store.  A murder takes place in the House of Lord and the Chief Inspector assisted by Phillip North, Conservative MP, try to solve the murder.  The case ends up involving Nazis, war crimes, Russian spies, wives (or not), a victim who may or may not be who everyone thought he was, drug addiction, suicide,  fraud and lawsuits, in essence a little bit of everything and the kitchen sink.  I actually had to keep checking on the dates, because it had a very “cold war” feel to it, however it is actually taking place in the 90s.  The book was published in 1994 and there are references to events in the 80s in the novel.

The author has written other books about MI5 and non-fiction spy and espionage works.  He is known as an expert in the intelligence field.   He previously worked as a police officer and was a conservative party MP.  He uses this insider’s view to give intimate details of the workings of parliament to his readers and this is really, in my mind ,the best part of the book.  The mystery is intricate and well laid out by I enjoyed all the background detail he provided.  An interesting political murder mystery read.

 

A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry

15810106  This is the 1st in the Family Skeleton series. I will admit to having some deep reservations about reading this, I mean come on, a skeleton named Sid, as one of the main characters?  It seemed like it would be a little silly.  Well, I started and finished it last night and I really liked it!.  The sleuth is Georgia Thackery, an adjunct professor, who just moved home to her parents’ house while they are out of the country on sabbatical.  Sid has been in the family since Georgia’s childhood.  Georgia now has a teen daughter, who she brings home with her and together, the three of them make for a  delightful family.  Georgia is an intelligent, strong-willed, independent sleuth.  Sid is smart and witty and the relationship between them is both touching and comic.  The first case involves solving Sid’s murder as he starts to recover some memories from his life before he came to the Thackery household.

A great cozy read and I will definitely  read more in the series.