In their third mystery, Mitchell and Markby have to dig deep to find a murderer
Ann Granger has worked in British embassies in various parts of the world. She met her husband, who was also working for the British Embassy, in Prague and together they received postings to places as far apart as Munich and Lusaka. They are now permanently based in Oxfordshire.
Far from cozy, this chilling, unsentimental English village mystery features such urban ills as drugs and land exploitation, which here are seen to ruin rural lives. Meredith Mitchell, a career woman in the Foreign Office, is delighted to escape the daily grind in London when Chief Inspector Alan Markby invites her to house-sit for his sister in the village of Bamford. Although the pair (seen last in Say It with Poison ) are wont to quarrel, Meredith is soon helping Alan investigate the murder of a man buried alive at a development site, a former farm, where a concrete foundation is about to be poured. She points out that the corpse has gold teeth, unusual for a Briton. While the duo seeks the victim's identity, various suspects surface, including red-haired Alwyn Winthrop, who longs to escape nearby Greyladies farm, development architect Steven Wetherall and the contractor Dudley Newman. After the dead man is ID'd as a French undercover narc, Granger springs a further surprising and convincing ending. First-rate characterization and the atmospheric Cotswolds setting give this tale uncommon depth. (Apr.)