Series: Dorset Crime #1
Published by Ackroyd Publishing on July 15, 2021
Source: Rachel's Random Resources
Genres: Mystery, Police Procedural
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Meet DCI Lesley Clarke. She’s a straight-talking city copper who doesn’t suffer fools gladly… and she’s been transferred to rural Dorset.
After being injured in a bomb attack, Lesley is presented with a choice - early retirement, or a period of respite in a calmer location.
But things don’t stay calm for long.
Before she’s even started her new job, Lesley is dragged into investigating a murder at one of England’s most iconic landmarks, the imposing Corfe Castle.
Lesley must hit the ground running. Can she get along with her new partner DS Dennis Frampton, a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate her style? How will she navigate the politics of a smaller force where she’s a bigger, and less welcome, fish? And most importantly, can she solve the murder before the killer strikes again?
DCI Lesley Clarke has been transferred to Dorset for six months to slow down and recuperate after a recent case. Of course, the day before she officially starts her new position, an archaeologist is found murdered at a dig site and Lesley jumps right into the investigation.
Lesley is a bit of a fish out of water. Several of her new team are not thrilled with having her in charge – she’s a woman, she cusses, she’s a bit prickly, but I think they are starting to gel by the end of the book. She may not be what they’re used to, but she’s intelligent, competent, and able to make compromises to benefit the team.
The mystery itself was well-done. The clues are there, but so are the red herrings. There are plenty of suspects, a mistress, the wife, the wife’s boyfriend, fellow archaeologists, and they all feel like real people, not cardboard cutouts. Every character in the case, whether they be on the investigation team, at the dig site, or related in another way, each has strengths and secrets.
The Corfe Castle Murders is a good start to a series. Lesley is someone I can root for and I have a feeling that Dorset will be anything but relaxing. The action is this one keeps moving along, there’s little chance for the reader, or Lesley, to take a breath.