Catherine Aird, Author LITTLE KNELLCatherine Aird

Drugs, laundered money, extortion and, of course, murder concern the delightful Inspector C.D. Sloan, last seen in 1998's Stiff News, in this intricately plotted police procedural from British veteran Aird. When a 3,000-year-old mummy case is left to a local museum, the last thing anyone would expect to find inside is a body—a week-old body, that is. It belongs, as the inspector eventually learns, to a young accountant named Jill Carter. Sloan and his aggressively obtuse sidekick, Constable Crosby, discover that Carter worked in the firm of Pearson, Worrow & Gisby. Nigel Worrow, a partner in the firm, was the last one seen with Carter; another accountant, David Barton, is in a coma from a car accident; and a shiny green, very expensive Bentley is seen parked outside the firm. Inspector Sloan, meanwhile, is preoccupied with a large shipment of heroin that was seized from one Horace Boller, a fisherman with a fishy story. Boller likes to drop by the animal refuge run by the quaint Kirk sisters. The Kirk sisters seem terribly innocent, but there are lots of hiding spots for illicit goods at the refuge, and their animal reserve in Africa could hold cash as well as lions. Prominent Calleshire businessman Howard Air generously supports the reserve, and Sloan has to wonder if there's an ulterior motive behind Air's largesse. Sloan is the kind of down-to-earth detective who makes you glad you aren't a criminal: gently persistent and full of wry observations, no superman but all the more believable because of that. (Apr. 16)

Reviewed on: 02/19/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7540-0574-2
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4668-7351-3
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