In A Wintry Wood by Jo Hiestand
British Mystery at its best
What if you have a murder right in the middle of the family holidays and even worse what if the family was already doing what a few families do…squabbling, being jealous, arguing over business…the infighting kind of thing. Then what if one of you is a cop and on the Derbyshire Constabulary and it happens to be your family doing the infighting and the body discovered is on your property?
Mark Salt, CID of the Derbyshire Constabulary, just happens to be a part of said family and the beautiful victim just happens to be his sister-in-law. Mark is always joking around at the station about being a Don Juan and women do just sort of flock to him. This is probably all just the male bragging thing but is he just a little too sad? Is he even more stricken about her death than his brother? When something like this happens, every ugly part of your family is exposed. What an embarrassing time for Mark but even more so, can his own colleagues suspect him?
Once again, Jo Hiestand is the artist in descriptive writing and character development. This is a British fiction story and at times the characters seem a little stilted to me, but I think that is possibly a cultural feeling and after all, CID Brenna Taylor is head over heels in love with her superior. That’s most certainly not stilted. On the other hand, I’ve been dying through 3 volumes of this Peak District Mysteries series for her to tell him. Seems like the author doesn’t always see my comments.
As I said, this is Volume 3 of the series. All these mysteries are based on an old, but possibly still celebrated tradition, in England. This one happens to be about Twelfth Night, the end of Christmastide and a celebration with a feast. A feast, a body and a king and queen. The only way to find out who gets to be the queen or who gets to be the dead body is to read the book.
Well worth the read and well worth my time.