cover image Death’s Dark Shadow: A DCI Paniatowski Mystery

Death’s Dark Shadow: A DCI Paniatowski Mystery

Sally Spencer. Severn, $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8347-6

Spencer’s well-executed seventh Monika Paniatowski mystery (after 2013’s A Walk With The Dead) takes the Whitebridge detective chief inspector and her adopted daughter, Louisa, to Spain, where Louisa meets relatives and Monika looks up her retired colleague and mentor, Charlie Woodend (the star of another Spencer police series). While there, Louisa meets Doña Elena, who has a tragic story. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, she spat on one of Franco’s officers when he made her an indecent proposal. Doña Elena paid dearly for this insult—with the loss of her husband and baby son, and a 10-year prison sentence. Soon after Monika and Louisa return home to Whitebridge, an unidentified body is found floating in a canal. A second gruesome murder raises the stakes in a case that has its roots in Spain. Charlie winds up helping Monika unravel a twisted tale of wartime love, loss, greed, and betrayal. (Mar.)