cover image Shallow Grave: A Bill Slider Mystery

Shallow Grave: A Bill Slider Mystery

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Scribner Book Company, $22 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-684-83777-2

The emotional complexity and intelligent dialogue that have marked the six previous Bill Slider mysteries, mostly recently Killing Time, continue in Harrod-Eagles's latest London-based procedural. Detective Inspector Slider and his sophisticated second in command, Atherton, investigate a murder in a West London square. The fully clothed body of a local woman, laid out in a trench dug during repairs on the home of a famous historian, is discovered early one morning by the historian's grown daughter. The victim is the wife of the contractor working on the house, a violently jealous man. Learning that the couple had fought recently in public and that the husband can't account for his whereabouts at the time of death, the police hold him for questioning. Their investigation quickly reveals that the dead woman was promiscuous and highly unpopular. Although the husband confesses, Slider remains unconvinced of his guilt and follows the sad and sordid trail laid by the victim and her many paramours to its sorrowful conclusion. Alert readers will identify the murderer before Harrod-Eagles allows her hero to, but time spent in the company of this literate crew, including Slider's violinist lover, Joanna, is always worthwhile. (Aug.)