cover image The Dungeon House: A Lake District Mystery

The Dungeon House: A Lake District Mystery

Martin Edwards. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0320-6

At the start of Edwards’s engrossing seventh Lake District mystery (after 2013’s The Frozen Shroud), Malcolm Whiteley, the proprietor of the majestic Dungeon House, is depressed over business problems and enraged at his wife Lysette’s infidelities and her request for a divorce. Following the annual barbecue for family and friends, a drunken Whiteley realizes that he can use his Winchester rifle to resolve these issues. Flash forward 20 years to the present. Det. Chief Insp. Hannah Scarlett’s Cumbria police team is working on the case of Lily Wellstone, a teenage girl who disappeared three years earlier. Lily’s father was Whiteley’s accountant. Coincidence strikes again when the daughter of Nigel Whiteley, Malcolm’s nephew and the Dungeon House’s current occupant, goes missing. Edwards has a way of tangling lives and spinning a cloud of suspicion over several characters, sending readers up and down wonderfully entertaining blind alleys that keep interest high until the unexpected, though slightly anticlimactic, end. (Sept.)