Critics on both sides of the Atlantic praise Cynthia Harrod-Eagles as one of the best of the new generation of crime writers. "Slider and his creator are real discoveries for detection fans demanding quality and heart as well as ingenious plots," says the London Daily Mail. "Perfect literary... show more
Critics on both sides of the Atlantic praise Cynthia Harrod-Eagles as one of the best of the new generation of crime writers. "Slider and his creator are real discoveries for detection fans demanding quality and heart as well as ingenious plots," says the London Daily Mail. "Perfect literary pitch," says the New York Times Book Review. Like her esteemed mystery-writing predecessors, Harrod-Eagles starts with an appealing detective team, but she adds a sharp-edged wit and an intriguingly contemporary take on human relationships. Bill Slider, Jim Atherton, and Joanna the violinist are here to stay.The Old Rectory, West London, is the kind of house Detective Inspector Bill Slider covets with an "edifice complex." But on his "copper's pay," it's not likely he'll ever live in such a magnificent structure. Huge and imposing, with three sections built over a number of centuries, it now must add "crime scene" to its list of distinctions. A body is rather spoiling the view from the back terrace.Only two people live in the big house: famed historian Cyril Dacre, suffering through the final stages of a terminal illness, and his mousy daughter, Frances Hammond, who had the unpleasant experience of discovering Jennifer Andrews's corpse. She was lying, fully clothed, in a trench dug by her husband, Eddie, a builder whom Frances had hired to repair the terrace. Did he dump his wife's body and hope to cover it with concrete?Could the death have been an accident, with someone depositing the body in panic? Where was Jennifer in the hours before her demise? Why didn't her husband report her missing? If it was murder, where did the crime occur? And who is the killer? It looks to be a straightforward case, but Slider finds that nothing makes sense. As in his own marriage, there is far more going on than meets the eye.With impressive police procedural detail, delightful wit, and the cast of characters readers have come to love, Shallow Grave proves once again that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is a writer to savor and applaud.