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Sunday 3 December 2017

‘Karma and the Singing Frogs’ by Carol Westron

Published by Pentangle Press,
November 2017. 
ISBN: 978-1976578298

Carol has returned to the character Mia Trent, a Scene of Crimes Officer, in an imaginary small town in the South of England. (Mia was the central figure in Carol’s first book, The Terminal Velocity of Cats.)   The story unfolds as Mia processes the scene of the death of a young man who is living in an old WW2 bomb shelter.  The complications multiply as a colleague has to excuse himself from the investigation because he knows the victim and there is another incident, involving a girl’s disappearance, which needs immediate attention.  Chronic understaffing adds to the strain of the actual work.   When these cases show features that link them a joint investigation is necessary, linking the detectives on both and, of course, requiring input from the SOCO team.

The police detectives, Mia’s fellow SOCO workers and the witnesses are all believable characters, often with interesting back stories.  In Carol’s usual inimitable style, the story moves fast so that it grabs all the reader’s attention.  Inevitably events become murkier and murkier and apparent threats to the investigators from violence or undue influence add to the burgeoning tension.

The hunt through the evidence is fascinating in its detail as small items fit into a theory of events.  Gradually some elucidation of both the death and the disappearance becomes possible.  The comment attributed to Macmillan that “Events, dear boy, events” provide the major problems for politicians is certainly borne out in the detection here as various happenings change the direction of investigation.

Carol is a born storyteller (not that I wish to denigrate the amount of sheer hard work required to write books!).
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Carol Westron has 3 other books in her South Coast Crime series.

Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Carol recently gave an interview to Mystery People. To read the interview click on the link below.

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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