The Playing Fields

Stella Cameron. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-78029-123-9
A serial killer may be on the loose in Cameron’s lame seventh mystery featuring pub owner Alex Duggins (after 2019’s Trap Lane), set in the Cotswold village of Folly-on-Weir. The first victim is found on the local cricket pitch, shoeless and without a coat. Six weeks later, another man turns up dead in a barn used by an amateur theater group for its productions. He, too, is bloody and shoeless. Meanwhile, Alex and veterinarian Tony Harrison, her significant other, continue to dither about officially announcing their engagement. Tony is hesitant because he has received an email claiming to be from his wife, Penny, who disappeared more than eight years earlier and is presumed dead. The email contains veiled threats, hinting at Penny’s return to Folly-on-Weir and her desire to become a partner in Tony’s veterinary clinic. Tony’s hysterical reaction to the email undermines credibility, as does Alex’s agreeing to meet with an obvious nutcase alone in a private place about the murders. Series fans, though, should be delighted with the happy ending. Agent: Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 08/27/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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