cover image A Dedicated Man: An Inspector Banks Mystery

A Dedicated Man: An Inspector Banks Mystery

Peter Robinson. Scribner Book Company, $18.95 (261pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19265-9

After the body of a well-to-do archeologist is found buried near a stone wall outside the English village of Helmthorpe, detective chief inspector Alan Banks, last encountered in Gallows View , has trouble finding anyone with motive and opportunity for murder. The main beneficiary of Harry Steadman's substantial fortune, his frowsy widow, Emma, has a solid alibi and seems to grieve genuinely for her husband. Further probing takes Banks back many years, when the Steadmans summered in the village and the archeologist formed a friendship with teenager Penny Cartwright--later a famous folksinger and object of scandal--whose boyfriend of the time, Michael Ramsden, became Steadman's publisher and good friend. When a local girl who may have learned too much about the murder disappears and is found dead, Banks must move swiftly to untangle the skein of old emotions and avert further tragedy. Robinson vividly evokes English village life and the passions animating both its residents and the police who protect them. (Aug.)