I found this author when I picked up the first of her Joe Sandilands detective series, which I’ve enjoyed and am awaiting the next instalment of.
This book is the first in new series with the lead detective DI John Redfyre based in his home town of Cambridge. It starts with Redfyre being set up on a date by his aunt to go to a Christmas concert with an old friend. He is there, in the front row, when someone tries to murder the controversial female trumpet player. He is also called on to investigate the death of another woman found in the Cam the following morning. Eventually, of course, Redfyre, his boss, McFarlane, and Sergeant Theody piece the mysteries together and work out who the murderer is.
The book trips along at a decent rate and, already knowing Cleverly’s style, I enjoyed picking up the clues and being able to work out who the murderer was a little ahead of the denouement.
I think Redfyre needs fleshing out a bit more; I haven’t yet warmed to him although I really like the Aunt Hetty and Earwig characters. I will probably read the next book because of them rather than Redfyre, although he may get better.
The one thing that puzzled me though was that there was no crossover of characters from the Sandilands novels when they seem to be set in the same period and at least 2 of them are set in Cambridge or its environs. I expected some references if nothing else.
Would I recommend it? Probably. If you wanted to curl up with a not too taxing book on a rainy Sunday. It would go well with a nice glass of port and a good fire.