Friday, 28 June 2019

The Body in Belair Park

Another tale of the secret sleuthing of Beth Haldane, a favourite character of mine.

Book description

A dead Bridge player. A determined mother. A new case…

Beth Haldane is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted. Her son is starting secondary school, her personal life seems to have settled – even her pets are getting on. Then the phone rings. 

It’s Beth’s high-maintenance mother, Wendy, with terrible news. Her bridge partner, Alfie Pole, has died suddenly. While Beth, and most of Dulwich, is convinced that Alfie has pegged out from exhaustion, thanks to playing with Wendy for years, Beth’s mother is certain that foul play is afoot. 

Before she knows it, Beth is plunged into her most complicated mystery yet, involving the Dulwich Bridge Club, allotment holders, the Dulwich Open Garden set and, of course, her long-suffering boyfriend, Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Harry York. 

The case stirs up old wounds which are much closer to home than Beth would like. 

Can she come up trumps in time to stop the culprit striking again? Or does the murderer hold the winning hand this time? 

My review

Beth is back in investigatory mode when her mother’s bridge partner dies, in suspicious circumstances, in the middle of a game. Her boyfriend Harry is working the case and as usual telling Beth to keep out of it. She can’t. Her mother ends up in hospital and now it’s personal. As always, I love the way these stories are told – humorously, with great insight into human nature and the unseen pressures of being the supermum that all your child’s friends have. This story leaves us feeling some conclusion has been reached between Beth and Harry. I sincerely hope the series continues!

About the author

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a feature writer on national newspapers including the Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Alice lives in south east London and is married with two children, two stepchildren and two cats. She writes psychological thrillers for HQDigital under the name A.M. Castle and the London Murder Mystery cozy crime series for Darkstroke as Alice Castle.

Just a thought

Wear the old coat and buy the new book.― Austin Phelps

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