A GRAVE WAITING
by Jill Downie
Detective Inspector Ed Moretti and Detective Sergeant Liz Falla have returned. This Guernsey Island pair of police officers was first encountered in Jill Downie's Daggers and Men's Smiles last year. And this time around, they're trying to figure out why financial advisor Bernard Masterson, also suspected arms dealer, came to visit the Channel Island, and more importantly, why he was murdered.
His body is found by the cook aboard his palatial yacht, Just Desserts, the morning after he'd given his entire crew the night off. Video footage shows Lady Coralie Fellowes, now a local but once a star of the Folies Bergere as the only visitor to the boat. Even more incriminating is the fact she disposed of a gun into the water beside the dock. When it's revealed her deceased husband had been duped by Masterson, she shoots to the head of the suspect list.
However, Fellowes is not the sole name on that list which includes Masterson's housekeeper, two Germans who are recent additions to the crew, a local doctor, and even a member of Moretti's jazz band. Add to the mix a retired, reclusive spy and some colourful locals, and the detectives have their hands full chasing leads but still coming up empty on why Masterson was there in the first place.
The island of Guensey is the main attraction of this series, so wonderfully depicted as the mystery unfolds. Detective Sergeant Liz Falla also stands out as a very real character, alert and savvy. Moretti's personal life entwines with the plot as we see him in the evenings with his main passion, playing jazz piano, and as his love life gets a new spark with the addition of a mysterious trio on the island.
Jill Downie has written a complex mystery that draws the reader in and, with increasing fervor, to the unearthing of a plot with international intrigue, and the more basic motives of love and revenge.