cover image Cold in the Earth: A Mitchell AMD Markby Village Mystery

Cold in the Earth: A Mitchell AMD Markby Village Mystery

Ann Granger. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (218pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08747-0

Far from cozy, this chilling, unsentimental English village mystery features such urban ills as drugs and land exploitation, which here are seen to ruin rural lives. Meredith Mitchell, a career woman in the Foreign Office, is delighted to escape the daily grind in London when Chief Inspector Alan Markby invites her to house-sit for his sister in the village of Bamford. Although the pair (seen last in Say It with Poison ) are wont to quarrel, Meredith is soon helping Alan investigate the murder of a man buried alive at a development site, a former farm, where a concrete foundation is about to be poured. She points out that the corpse has gold teeth, unusual for a Briton. While the duo seeks the victim's identity, various suspects surface, including red-haired Alwyn Winthrop, who longs to escape nearby Greyladies farm, development architect Steven Wetherall and the contractor Dudley Newman. After the dead man is ID'd as a French undercover narc, Granger springs a further surprising and convincing ending. First-rate characterization and the atmospheric Cotswolds setting give this tale uncommon depth. (Apr.)