cover image Stone Cold, Stone Dead

Stone Cold, Stone Dead

Margaret Duffy. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8815-0

The release from prison of Julian Mannering, the arch nemesis of British agent Ingrid Langley and her husband, Patrick Gillard, a National Crime Agency officer within the Avon and Somerset Police Organized Crime Unit, drives Duffy’s tired 21st mystery featuring the sleuthing duo (after 2017’s As their MI5 contact explains, “It seems that he’s consorting with serious criminals, possibly with a view to making money by illegal means. And that suggests to us that he’s thinking of using his considerable fortune, previously accrued by fair means or foul... to either buy his way into what I’ll call an existing crime set-up or is planning to start something of his own.” This sort of expository dialogue is typical. Meanwhile, a nasty couple is harassing Ingrid and Patrick, their five children, and Patrick’s recently widowed mother. Could there be some connection with the Mannering case? This entry will satisfy established fans, who have trudged along with Patrick and Ingrid through the years. It will be less scintillating for newcomers. Agent: Vanessa Holt, Vanessa Holt Ltd. (U.K.). (Oct.)