cover image Death in Cornwall

Death in Cornwall

G.M. Malliet. Severn, $28.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5038-6

Malliet’s gripping fourth St. Just mystery (after 2010’s Death at the Alma Mater) takes Det. Chief Insp. Arthur St. Just of the Cambridge Constabulary and Portia De’Ath, his criminologist fiancée, to the Cornish village of Maidsfell, where they’re soon dragged into an ongoing argument over seafront redevelopment. The townsfolk are angrily split between fishermen proposing a practical new slipway and supporters of the tourism industry wanting to preserve the view that’s the backbone of Maidsfell’s economy. When St. Just and Portia find Lord Titus Bodwally, a prominent resident with the means to make both sides happy, stabbed to death in his library, what was supposed to be a restful break for the couple turns into a busman’s holiday. Their efforts to assist the local authorities lead to an important clue—that someone initially tried to kill Bodwally by feeding him a fish whose poison can be deadly. Malliet draws the reader in with elegant prose and distinctive characters. Fans will hope they won’t have to wait another 12 years for the next installment. Agent: Mark Gottleib, Trident Media. (Jan.)