cover image Dear Departed: A Bill Slider Mystery

Dear Departed: A Bill Slider Mystery

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, . . St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34768-0

Delightful dialogue and carefully observed details make Harrod-Eagles's 10th Bill Slider mystery a winner (after 2002's Gone Tomorrow ), despite a somewhat unimaginative choice of culprit. The London police detective and his likable team—especially Jim Atherton, a womanizer who's unexpectedly enlightened on other subjects, and Tony Hart, with her astute observations and wry sense of humor—look into what appears at first to be another strike by the so-called Park Killer. Chattie Cornfeld, however, died in a slightly different manner from previous victims, so Slider starts investigating other avenues. Chattie's notably unsavory half sister, Jassy, and Jassy's equally lowlife boyfriend had been pestering Chattie just before her murder. Chattie's estranged father, the head of a major chemical company, is a possible suspect, as are several of her love interests. Slider's own love interest, his pregnant girlfriend, Joanna, ducks in and out of the story, but fails to light up as the other main characters do. Nevertheless, there's plenty of energy and personality in these pages. (Dec.)