cover image A Season for Murder

A Season for Murder

Ann Granger. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (243pp) ISBN 978-0-312-07079-3

The impact of modern life on English villages is vividly captured in Granger's second murder mystery. British consular officer Meredith Mitchell rents isolated Rose Cottage in Pook's Common when she is posted back to England. Uneasily resuming her acquaintance with attractive local CID Chief Inspector Alan Markby (begun in Say It with Poison ), Meredith becomes friendly with neighbor equestrienne Harriet Needham. When Harriet dies from a fall during a Boxing Day meet, animal rights activist Simon Pardy is blamed because his banner spooked the steed. The autopsy, however, discloses that Harriet , known to have abjured drugs and medicines, died full of tranquilizers and alcohol. Alan draws Meredith into the investigation, which is complicated by the murder of the unlikable Pardy, an attack on Harriet's vengeance-seeking executor cousin and a plethora of the horsewoman's former lovers. As Meredith uncovers old local secrets, she also tries to sort out her highly ambiguous feelings for Alan. Granger delicately probes human relationships in this top-notch tale. (Apr .)