Hardcastle’s Collector

Graham Ison. Severn, $28.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8557-9
Set in August, 1917, Ison’s solid 13th historical (after 2014’s Hardcastle’s Quartet) takes irascible Det. Insp. Ernest Hardcastle and his long-suffering assistant, Det. Sgt. Charles Marriott, to Hampshire, where 16-year-old Daisy Salter’s strangled corpse has been found in a field by farmer Joshua Blunden. The London policemen soon learn that Daisy was suspected of being light-fingered and consequently had trouble holding on to a job. She was also sexually active, and the autopsy reveals that she was pregnant. As the investigation follows predictable lines, the pair probe those who may have gotten her with child, including students at a local boarding school and a suspicious itinerant whom Blunden once caught in flagrante with the dead girl. En route to the fairly clued solution, Ison makes the most of the contrast between Marriott’s cynical responses to Hardcastle’s magisterial pronouncements on the art of detection as well as the wide-eyed awe of a young and callow local constable. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/14/2015
Release date: 02/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-78010-720-2
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-7278-9455-7
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-84751-666-4
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