cover image Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders

Tessa Arlen. Berkley Prime Crime, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-9848-0580-5

Poppy Redfern, the narrator of this unremarkable series launch from Arlen (the Lady Montfort books) set in WWII England, leaves London, where she has trained as an air raid warden, for the town where she grew up, Little Buffenden, to serve as its first air raid warden. Her return coincides with the arrival of American fighter pilots—and a series of strangulation murders of attractive young women, starting with Doreen Newcombe. Newcombe was garroted with a pair of nylon stockings her American boyfriend had given her, making him the obvious suspect. Poppy, who isn’t so sure of his guilt, begins to play detective. Meanwhile, Poppy develops an American love interest of her own, Lt. Griff O’Neal, “the most handsome man I had ever seen in my life.” Like Charles Todd’s shell-shocked WWI veteran, Ian Rutledge, Poppy converses, if at a lighthearted level, with someone who isn’t real—the feisty heroine of the mystery novel she’s writing. Cozy readers will best appreciate this one. Fans of British home front mysteries will find nothing new. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (Nov.)