cover image The Final Curtain: A Joanna Piercy Mystery

The Final Curtain: A Joanna Piercy Mystery

Priscilla Masters. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8304-9

In British author Masters’s well-paced 11th Joanna Piercy mystery (after 2012’s A Velvet Scream), the newlywed detective inspector faces two professional challenges: her exasperation with the nuisance calls from Timony Weeks, a child TV star in the 1960s, and the imminent arrival of a new, by-the-book chief superintendent. Is Weeks batty or is someone trying to intimidate her? How much of the Leek Police resources can be devoted to investigating her calls? The complaints become increasingly unsettling, yet Piercy’s efforts to identify likely suspects and a motive are stymied by Weeks and her companion, Diana Tong. Not until a murder occurs late in the book can Piercy devote full resources and attention to the events at remote Butterfield Farm, a recreation of the location where the TV series in which Weeks starred was filmed more than 40 years earlier. Attentive readers are likely to guess the victim and to narrow the list of suspects before the denouement, but Masters produces surprises to the end. (Sept.)