cover image Murder Served Cold: A Langham and Dupré Mystery

Murder Served Cold: A Langham and Dupré Mystery

Eric Brown. Severn, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8852-5

Appealing characters, lively dialogue, and some thought-provoking observations on post-WWII social changes in Britain lift Brown’s satisfying sixth mystery featuring thriller writer–cum–private detective Donald Langham and his wife, literary agent Marie Dupré (after 2018’s Murder Takes a Turn). The snowy November of 1956 sees Langham and his colleague Ralph Ryland motoring down from London to Nestor Manor to investigate the theft of Lord Elsmere’s Gainsborough. The insurance company thinks it was an inside job and refuses to pay the claim. Elsmere, strapped for cash, is desperate to either find the painting or prove that it was indeed stolen. To help make ends meet, Elsmere has rented out rooms in his sprawling country house, so there’s no shortage of potential suspects, including a domineering sculptress, a retired army major, and Elsmere’s ne’er-do-well son. Brown caps the action with a particularly clever closing twist. As always, it’s a pleasure to spend time in the company of Langham and Dupré. [em]Agent: John Jarrold, John Jarrold Literary (U.K.). (Apr.) [/em]