cover image Echoes of the Dead: A DCI Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Echoes of the Dead: A DCI Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Sally Spencer, Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6980-7

Spencer's crisp third police procedural to feature plucky Det. Chief Insp. Monika Paniatowski (after 2010's Ring of Death) offers an intriguing look at '70s style crime solving. After serving 22 years for the rape and strangulation murder of 13-year-old Lilly Dawson in 1951 Whitebridge, Lancashire, Fred Howerd, who admitted to the killing, claims his innocence in a deathbed confession to a Catholic priest. Scotland Yard sends Det. Chief Insp. Tom Hall to help Chief Constable George Baxter's team, chiefly Monika, reopen the case, which was the first big case of her retired former boss, Chief Insp. Charlie Woodend, for Scotland Yard's Murder Squad. Monika hopes the truth will clear Woodend or his then sergeant, Ralph Bannerman, of arresting or even framing the wrong man. Spencer unravels a complex cobweb of clues while smoothly flipping back and forth between 1951 and 1973. (Apr.)