The Valley of the Shadow: A Cornish Mystery

Carola Dunn. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-01588-4
The wider world comes to the Cornish village of Port Mabyn in Dunn’s meandering third mystery featuring doughty widow Eleanor Trewynn (after 2010’s A Colourful Death). While out walking by the ocean with her dog, Teazle; her detective sergeant niece, Megan Pencarrow; and neighbor Nick Gresham, Eleanor spots a drowning Indian man, whom Megan saves. In the absence of any identifying documents on the man, who lapses into unconsciousness, Megan’s boss, Detective Inspector Scrumble, suspects that he’s an East African trying to illegally enter the country after learning of the end of Britain’s open-door policy for former colonials. There may be other refugees, moreover, in distress along Cornwall’s rugged shores. Dunn lives up to her reputation for cozies that take on serious stuff, allowing her ragtag bunch of investigators to unearth a story with roots deep in international politics, but would have kept her tale livelier with tighter plotting. Agent: Alice Volpe, Northwest Literary. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
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