Past Tense: A Sloan and Crosby Mystery

Catherine Aird, Author
Catherine Aird, Minotaur, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-67291-1
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 03/01/2011
In British veteran Aird's brilliantly sardonic 23rd fair-play whodunit featuring Calleshire County Det. Insp. C.D. Sloan and Sloan's sidekick, Detective Constable Crosby (after 2008's Losing Ground), Sloan starts with a relatively benign inquiry. The matron of the Berebury Nursing Home suspects that the room of a recently deceased resident, Josephine Short, was burglarized, but she can't be sure that anything was actually taken. Short left a sizable estate, but few survivors. The wife of her great-nephew, who didn't actually know her, made the funeral arrangements, and her only other blood relation is a grandson of whose existence other family members were unaware. The mystery of the possible theft may be linked to a 24-year-old woman, whose corpse, bearing bruises around the throat, a fisherman found floating Ophelia-like in the River Alm. Fans of Peter Lovesey's Victorian-era Sergeant Cribb novels should find Sloan a fitting modern-day counterpart. (Mar.)
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