cover image Grounds for Appeal

Grounds for Appeal

Bernard Knight. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8107-6

The discovery of a headless body in a Cardiganshire bog prompts Welsh pathologist Richard Pryor and Angela Bray, his forensic consultancy business partner, to swing into high gear in Knight’s solid third 1950s mystery (after 2010’s According to the Evidence). Meanwhile, a new woman in Pryor’s life—Priscilla Chambers, a former medical associate of Angela—fills in while Angela is briefly away tending to her aging mother. An underplayed conflict arises as Pryor compares the two women, both of whom pose potential romantic interest. A couple of subplots involve a paternity question and an abused woman’s appeal of her murder conviction. While retired Home Office pathologist Knight puts the budding technology of scientific crime solving at the forefront, often at the expense of character development, this period procedural is not without its peculiar charms. (Mar.)