cover image Fell Purpose: A Bill Slider Mystery

Fell Purpose: A Bill Slider Mystery

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, . . Severn, $28.95 (268pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6842-8

Harrod-Eagles’s 12th Bill Slider mystery (after 2008’s Game Over ) offers a familiar plot. When the strangled corpse of nearly 17-year-old Zellah Wilding, a star student at St. Margaret’s, an excellent all-girls church school, is discovered in a London park near her home, Slider and his team investigate. The suspects, all stock characters, include Wilding’s overprotective and repressed father; Ronnie Oates (aka the Acton Strangler), who was just released from prison after a series of convictions for indecent assault; and Wilding’s secret boyfriend. Few will be shocked when it turns out the victim led a less than exemplary life. The punning or joking chapter titles (“Salmon-Chanted Evening,” “You Must Remember This; A Kiss Is Still a Coordinated Interpersonal Labial Spasm”) may appeal to some, but others will find the humor at odds with the grim reality of police homicide work. (Jan.)