A Dreadful Past

Peter Turnbull. Severn, $28.99 (176p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8635-4

Things are slow for Det. Chief Insp. George Hennessy and Det. Sgt. Somerled Yellich in British author Turnbull’s meticulous 24th mystery featuring the Vale of York police (after 2013’s Gift Wrapped). Hennessy and his team have time to look at a case that’s not only cold but practically frostbitten: a 20-year-old murder of a couple and their 17-year-old daughter in an isolated house. Now the son, the sole survivor of the massacre, tells the police that he has found a damaged vase in an antique shop that was stolen from his family the night of the murders. Hennessy and company start to trace the vase and reinterview the victims’ neighbors for details they might not have told the police before. Team members share each small clue, try to fit it into place, and then follow the trail it suggests. Turnbull painstakingly lays out the facts of the case, to a degree that may be too much for some readers. Still, series fans will enjoy catching up on the officers’ personal lives. (Oct.)