cover image Undercover: 
A Harpur & Iles Mystery

Undercover: A Harpur & Iles Mystery

Bill James. Severn/Crème de la Crime, $27.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-78029-028-7

James’s tongue-in-cheek 30th mystery featuring Det. Chief Supt. Colin Harpur and Asst. Chief Constable Desmond Iles (after 2011’s Vacuum) takes the feuding pair to London to investigate a badly failed undercover operation conducted by another police force. Sgt. Tom Mallen, under the alias Tom Parry, infiltrated the drug-dealing gang run by Leo Percival Young with apparent success until the night he was shot and killed. Court transcripts, witness statements, detectives’ notes, and newspaper clippings punctuate the briefing Harpur and Iles receive from the Home Office’s Maud Logan Clatworthy, who Harpur suspects is one of those brilliant Oxford types Iles so resents. Young fills the role normally played by crooks and series regulars Mansel Shale and Ralph Ember. Dyspeptic rants from Iles and Harpur’s barely veiled retorts can’t conceal that they approach the case with their usual insight and thoroughness. Agent: Euan Thorneycroft, A.M. Heath. (Oct.)