cover image Before I Sleep

Before I Sleep

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Severn, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0619-0

A missing person’s case drives Harrod-Eagles’s intriguing 24th mystery featuring London Det. Chief Insp. Bill Slider (after 2022’s Dying Fall). When Felicity Holland, the wife of author Henry Holland, who writes popular novels “about a ship-captain in the Napoleonic Wars,” doesn’t return home to Holland Park after her weekly pottery class, Henry is sure something untoward has happened. Fortunately for him, Henry has friends in high places, including the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who ensures that Slider takes charge of the investigation to find Felicity. Progress is slow, Henry’s patience is nil, and Slider is under immense pressure to uncover a solid lead. As tiny clues turn into wildly divergent paths of inquiry, Slider and his merry band of officers discover that the esteemed Mrs. Holland had her share of secrets. From posh manses in West London to Burnham Beeches, a woodland outside the city, Slider doggedly pursues the truth, however ugly it may be. Witty prose (Carpenter, Slider’s immediate boss, has “all the warmth, charm and empathy of Vladimir Putin with a toothache”) helps carry the clever plot to a satisfying conclusion. Harrod-Eagles reliably entertains. (Feb.)