Crooked Street: A Joanna Piercy Mystery

Priscilla Masters. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8666-8

Early in British author Masters’s tantalizing 13th mystery featuring Det. Insp. Joanna Piercy (after 2015’s Guilty Waters), Eve Glover phones the Leek, Staffordshire, police station to report that her financial-adviser husband, Jadon, is three hours late getting home from the accountancy firm where he works. It’s now past midnight. The cheery officer she speaks to tries to reassure her, but he’s thinking of the four S’s: “sex, sozzled, smash-up, sanity (loss of).” By morning, Jadon has still not returned home. Piercy takes charge of the ensuing investigation, assisted by her muscular sidekick, Mike Korpanski. Initially, the case doesn’t excite Piercy (“We’re reduced to searching for errant husbands. There’s bugger all else interesting going on”). However, a visit to Eve, who’s quite attractive, piques the detective’s interest and poses a series of questions, among them how well Eve really knew her husband. Piercy’s search for the truth takes her from a tidy but sterile suburban home into a seedier, sadder, and more threatening world. (Feb.)
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