cover image With My Little Eye

With My Little Eye

Gerald Hammond. Severn, $27.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8093-2

At the start of this well-crafted mystery from Scottish author Hammond (A Dog’s Life), surveyor Douglas Young decides to become a real estate developer by buying Underwood House, a neglected property in the countryside outside Edinburgh, and converting it into flats. Unable to secure a bank loan, Douglas turns to potential tenants as investors. These include Seymour MacLeish, a garage owner who hit it big with his first novel and never wrote another word; Mrs. Jamieson, a grass widow with an attractive 19-year-old daughter, Tash, who becomes Douglas’s assistant; and Stan Eastwick, a retired university gardener, who undertakes to care for Underwood’s grounds and do odd jobs in lieu of rent. When Stan’s disagreeable brother, George, finds Stan dead in Stan’s basement flat, the subsequent police investigation reveals that Stan had set up CCTV cameras to observe the female tenants unawares. George’s later disappearance adds to the suspense of this agreeable traditional whodunit. (Dec.)