Skeleton Blues: A Quint Dalrymple Mystery

Paul Johnston. Severn, $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8578-4
In 2034, the independent city-state of Edinburgh, the setting of Johnston’s excellent seventh Quint Dalrymple whodunit (after 2015’s Heads or Hearts), is a repressive Orwellian regime, governed by a council of guardians. Though Quint, a skilled detective, has resigned from the Public Order Directorate, Jim Michie, the current head of his old department, asks him to handle a sensitive murder investigation. A Malaysian tourist, Chung Keng Quee, was found strangled in the bedroom of Clarinda Towart, an employee of the Prostitution Services Department, who has gone missing. The authorities are puzzled why Clarinda brought a client home. Since Edinburgh is on the eve of a referendum about joining a newly reconstituted Scotland, Michie wants the case closed quickly and discreetly. When Quint interviews a witness at the local zoo, a bomb explodes, killing the witness as well as a pygmy hippo. As the stakes rise, Johnston keeps the logical twists coming while making his dystopian future plausible. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/2016
Release date: 04/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-84751-687-9
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-7278-9457-1
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-78010-743-1
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