A Pretty Place for A Murder is a book I picked up because my local used book shop was culling mysteries, so I found it in the culled books. I have never heard of Roy Hart or his sleuth, Superintendent Roper, but I am really impressed. Set in the “pretty” village of Cort Abbas, which the local heirs to the manse are turning into an attraction for artistic types, there is a lovely, engrossing sense of place and village life in the late 70s, This is not a thriller, it is a solid police procedural with attention to the details. The driving strength is definitely in the characterizations, From Jollyboy, the local copper to Roper the Superintendent brought in on the murder investigation, the main characters are all very well drawn. These are not cardboard cutout characters, there is depth and interest built into each one. I’d highly recommend for fans of P.D. James or if you like police procedurals. I’ve already put the first in this series on hold at my library.
As an aside, I cannot find any information about Roy Hart, mystery author. There is no biography that I can find online. I don’t even know if it is a pen name or his actual name. I’d love to hear more about him, so if you know something let me know in the comments.
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is this month’s read at the Kindle English Mystery Book Club on Goodreads. There is not really a mystery here, it is more of a psychological thriller. There are some dark themes explored here, child sexual abuse, child abduction, torture and murder, mental illness and the impact of trauma on a child. The book is told from the point of view of Milly/Annie, the child of a serial child killer. I can’t really talk much about the plot without giving things away, so I’d just say that I pretty much saw where the book was heading early on.
I did find the themes interesting and the portrayal of a victim of childhood trauma was well done. As was the psychologist character, Mike, who couldn’t deal with the dysfunction in his own family. Classic, the shoemaker’s children have no shoes… All said it dragged a little while I was waiting for something to happen in the beginning, but once events were set in motion in ended nicely tied up.
By the way, The Kindle English Mystery Club is available here on WordPress, https://kindlebritishmysterybookclub.wordpress.com/ as well as on twitter as @KindleCrimeClub, and Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/48703-kindle-english-mystery-book-club