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Tuesday 17 November 2015

‘Recalled to Death’ by Priscilla Masters

Published by Severn House,
26 June 2015.
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8527-2

John Hyde is paid by English Heritage to open the gates of Moreton Corbet Castle at 10.30am each weekday morning. On Friday the 12 September he fulfilled his duty as usual, but there usual ended because lying in the stone cellar was the dead body of a man with his throat slashed.

Detective Inspector Alex Randall is soon at the scene, with his team.  Their first question is, was this the random killing of a homeless man, or something more personal.  Finding out about the victim, his life, his friends, his haunts, should give them some leads.  But the identity of the victim proves elusive. Although he was recognised by several of the helpers in the surrounding shelters for the homeless and had on occasion attended the Holy Cross Catholic Church, no one seemed to know anything about him.

As has recently become a habit, Alex Randell calls on Coroner Martha Gunn to talk over the case, but establishing the victim’s identity continues to elude them.

This is a tantalising and intriguing mystery, as with Martha’s input Alex Randall and his team uncover the story about and behind the murder of the unknown man.  Eventually past secrets are uncovered and the killer is unmasked. The title is brilliant.

On the personal front Alex and Martha’s friendship continues to grow. Having long wondered about Alex’s personal life, Martha now becomes aware of the obstacles against anything more than friendship between them, but never say never!  Oh! and PC Gethin Roberts is in a turmoil as his wedding day approaches. Marvellous characterisation. Great plotting. A terrific read. Priscilla Masters is for me the Mistress of the mystery, and in this she excels.   I could not put this fascinating and compelling book down. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Priscilla Masters was born in Halifax,brought up in South Wales, one of seven multi racial children adopted by an orthopaedic surgeon and his Classics graduate wife.
Trained as a registered nurse in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. She moved to Staffordshire in the 1970s, had an antiques business for a while and two sons. (Now have two grandsons!) I started writing in the 1980s in response to an aunt asking me what I was going to do with my life! Winding up the Serpent was her first Joanna Piercy story, a series which she is continuing with as well as her medical standalones and the Martha Gunn, Shrewsbury coroner, series. Currently she work as a respiratory nurse in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. The new Martha Gunn, title The Devil's Chair is set in and around Church Stretton and is due to be published in April 2014.

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