As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Allison & Busby, 13 December 2018. ISBN: 978-0-7490-2415-4 (HB)
Rural Scotland may be sparsely populated, but it seems its villages are
a hotbed of hatred, rivalry and all manner of nefarious doings. Forsich, on the
edge of a boggy, inhospitable region known as the Flow Country, is no
exception; rancour going back years is aimed at Patrick Curran, whose failed
business damaged a lot of people. Curran is dead, but his daughter Gabrielle
has inherited both his new business and the resentment of the community – and
now a body has been found mutilated by ravens, in a ruined croft house on a
remote farmstead. At first it appears to be a rough sleeper who died of natural
causes, but it soon emerges that he drowned, and not by accident, and that he
was well known in the community.
Enter Kelso Strang, the head
of Police Scotland's Serious Rural Crimes Initiative, despatched to unravel the
mystery. He soon learns that Niall Aitchison, the dead man, also came in for
his share of the bad feeling surrounding the Currans.
As a fine tangle of
connections and relationships emerges, Kelso Strang has to put his personal
issues aside and plot a careful route between the various factions, and also
around the senior detective of the local police force, who is none too happy to
have Strang parachuted into a potentially high-profile case despite his own
obvious incompetence. Strang's life is made harder still when the only
available support from his home turf takes the form of a self-satisfied
detective sergeant more interested in filling his stomach than solving crimes,
and Constable Livvy Murray, now a DC, who caused him considerable hassle on his
previous murder investigation.
Once again Aline Templeton has
created a cast of characters who could step off the page into real life; I
warmed to Gabrielle and despised her sister Francesca, loathed company CEO
Bruce Michie on sight and felt unexpectedly sorry for unappealing cafe owner
Morven Gunn; and I couldn't help but adore Strang's small but forceful niece
Betsy on sight. I felt I could touch, smell and almost taste the bogland around
the village, and found it easy to visualize the various different houses where
the action unfolded. There's an obvious culprit, but in crime fiction it's
never wise to let the obvious blind you to the undercurrents; misdirection is
another of Templeton's many skills.
I think I fell a little in
love with DCI Kelso Strang during the first of the series, and Carrion
Comfort only served to make me want to see a whole lot more of him.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
up in the fishing village of Anstruther, on the east coast of Scotland not far
from St Andrews. The memories of beautiful scenery and a close community
inspired her to set the Marjory Fleming series in a place very like that –
rural Galloway, in the south-west of Scotland. After attending Cambridge
University to read English she taught for a few years. She now
writes full-time and lives in Edinburgh in a house with a balcony built by an
astronomer to observe the stars, with a splendid view of the castle and the
beautiful city skyline.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.