Except for a random storyline that I couldn't understand the reason for, Elizabeth George's This Body of Death was one of her best mysteries. George, one of my favorite mystery authors who has written a series of about 15 of these Lynley novels, is from Washington state, but writes a series about Lynley, an upper-crust gentleman, who, for some reason, works at Scotland Yard. Inspector Lynley is back after taking a break because of his wife's death. The death casts a sad pall over the novel, but is not the plot. This time the story deals with a new woman Acting Superintendent at the Yard, the long-ago murder of a young boy (a very scary random killing that George describes periodically), the recent murder of a young woman with many boyfriends, and the occupants of a London boarding house. The detectives run all over trying to determine a logical suspect, and, hindered by the new Acting Superintendent who seems to have power issues, as well as an obvious problem with alcohol, are forced to ignore many obvious clues. I like reading detective fiction that teaches me interesting facts. This one gives me information about
thatching roofs and the tools needed to do that
finding treasure hoards from the Roman occupation of Britain -- and what to do if you find one
New Forest, an actual area of England, with wild ponies and no owned property -- something like a national park with permanent houses.
There is one storyline about a schizophrenic which, in retrospect, seemed to be added for no reason except to show the new Acting Superintendent's lack of experience and leadership ability. Otherwise, I really liked this novel and would recommend it for a nice long summer vacation read.
This is the most recent Inspector Lynley novel (2010) and one of the ones I like best. The plot is intricate and the action is hard to anticipate, plus author Elizabeth George has introduced a couple of interesting new characters who seem to be on their way to becoming part of the semi-permanent Lynley group. One of them, Isabelle Ardery, is well drawn and so convincing that I immediately disliked her and was not particularly happy with her status at the novel's … more