cover image Beneath These Stones

Beneath These Stones

Ann Granger. Thomas Dunne Books, $22.95 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-312-24178-0

In her 12th mystery featuring British civil servant Meredith Mitchell and her policeman lover, Alan Markby, Granger probes the secrets of an unhappy family to discover the truth behind a nasty murder. Gypsy Danny Smith is checking his rabbit traps in a wooded area near a railway embankment when he makes a grisly discovery: the body of the wife of a local farmer, Hugh Franklin. Smith conceals evidence that places the farmer's daughter, 12-year-old Tammy, at the scene. Soon the police are investigating the crime, and Markby finds himself drawn into the investigation. Meredith also becomes involved, through an acquaintance, Jane Brady, who is one of Tammy's teachers. Could Tammy or her father have murdered Sonia Franklin? Jane believes passionately in their innocence, but there seem to be few other suspects, other than Danny Smith or Hugh Franklin's brother, Simon, a well-known historian. While trying to sort out a lull in their often touchy relationship, Meredith and Alan approach the case from different angles, eventually arriving at the tragic truth. As usual, Granger offers a tidily constructed, enjoyable whodunit. (Feb.)