cover image Death in Disguise: A Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Death in Disguise: A Monika Paniatowski Mystery

Sally Spencer. Severn, $28.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8620-0

In British author Spencer’s well-crafted 11th mystery featuring Det. Chief Insp. Monika Paniatowski (after Thicker Than Water), the discovery of American Mary Edwards’s dead body on Mar. 13, 1978, in Whitebridge’s best hotel, the Royal Victoria, prompts Acting Chief Constable Keith Pickering to call on his best, Monika, to lead the investigation. Monika and her team, including Det. Sgt. Kate Meadows and Det. Insp. Colin Beresford, question hotel staff and guests and track Mary’s movements. They learn that Mary was in disguise, that Mary wasn’t her real name, that she had handled a pub bully with a swift kick, that she was doing research at the local library into something that happened in 1924, and had consulted a local solicitor. It’s clear from the start that there’s a connection with the 1924 murder of Mill owner Wilfred Hardcastle, but ferreting out Mary’s real identity and purpose and how that long ago murder led to hers makes for a successful puzzle. (Aug.)