cover image Gift Wrapped

Gift Wrapped

Peter Turnbull. Severn, $28.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8262-2

An elegantly constructed plot and a sly ending more than compensate for some stilted prose in Turnbull’s entertaining 23rd mystery featuring Vale of York policemen Det. Chief Insp. George Hennessey and Sgt. Somerled Yellich (after 2012’s The Altered Case). Julia Bartlem brings four postcards she’s received on consecutive days to the police, each bearing the word murder in German, Italian, French, and Latin; the same eight numbers on each appear to be map coordinates. When Hennessey and Yellich search the location indicated by the coordinates, they find a skeleton that’s soon identified as that of a man missing for 10 years, James Wenlock. Routine police work solves a murder if not Wenlock’s, and also uncovers yet another missing person’s case. Solving the question of who sent the postcards, and why, may be the key to identifying a pair of highly clever killers, but can the police prove their guilt? Fans of contemporary British police procedurals will be satisfied. (Aug.)