cover image A Walk with the Dead: A Monika Paniatowski Mystery

A Walk with the Dead: A Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Sally Spencer. Severn, $27.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8242-4

Two cases drive Spencer’s solid sixth 1970s Lancashire mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. Monika Paniatowski (after 2012’s Lambs to the Slaughter). When 13-year-old Jill Harris disappears after a family wedding in Whitebridge that Monika attended, the girl’s mother phones Monika to ask for her help. The next day, furtive young lovers discover Jill’s corpse hidden in the bushes of a town park, and Monika and her team go into action. Meanwhile, the Home Office assigns Chief Constable George Baxter to review a suicide, but he soon has difficulties with the defensive staff of the Yorkshire prison where an inmate hanged himself in his cell the month before. The courses of both investigations nicely mix deduction and procedure as they verge on the predictable but surprising link between the two. Series fans will appreciate such melodramatic personal moments as the time the chief constable’s wife becomes jealous after George returns to Whitebridge to see Monika instead of her. (Apr.)