The Tin God: A Tom Harper Mystery

Chris Nickson. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8786-3
Set in Leeds, England, in 1897, Nickson’s so-so sixth Tom Harper mystery (after 2017’s On Copper Street) lacks his usual superior plotting. Tom, a police superintendent, is proud that his wife, Annabelle, has joined with six other women to run for the city’s Board of Poor Law Guardians. The women’s candidacy draws the attention of an anonymous misogynist, who begins sending them letters, which at first assert that a woman’s place is in the home and later threaten them with death. Tom steps up his efforts to identify the sender after a bomb is detonated at the hall where Annabelle was slated to speak, killing the hall’s caretaker. Amid the rubble, the police find a scrap of paper with a handwritten excerpt from the song “Barbara Allen,” the first of multiple missives from the villain consisting solely of ballad excerpts referencing a woman’s death. That the police overlook an obvious suspect and that Annabelle is never in serious peril make this entry a lesser effort. Series fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: Tina Betts, Andrew Mann Agency (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 07/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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