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A Particular Eye For Villainy
A Particular Eye For Villainy by Ann Granger
Murder arrives on the doorstep of Insp Ben Ross when the bludgeoned body of Thomas Tapley is found a few houses away in the Waterloo district of Victorian London. Ross is quickly on the scene but even Tapley’s landlady knows nothing except that he paid rent on time. The inspector at first thinks he has a difficult task on his hands and tours the offices of evening newspapers to plant the bare details of the murder, in the hope that publicity will encourage someone to come forward with information.
Sure enough, barrister Jonathan Tapley turns up to tell Ross that his relative Thomas had recently returned from France. The barrister and his wife, living in a fashionable London square, were looking after Thomas’s daughter Flora. As with Granger’s other sequence of novels featuring sleuth Merdith Mitchell and her boyfriend, Det Insp Alan Markby, Ross has an unofficial assistant: his wife Lizzie. She is a dab hand at finding clues — so good that she is warned off from meddling in police work by a superintendent.
Lizzie finds out that a few days before the death, a well-dressed man visited the victim.But the barrister appears to have a cast-iron alibi. Problems pile up for the police when a private detective is found murdered.
Granger, who lives in Bicester, satisfyingly reveals the mystery with her customary skill and feeling for period detail, with cameos like the streetwise Coalhouse Joe, rewarded for his help when Lizzie finds him a job.
This is the fourth Ross novel — let’s hope it is not the last. Please, can we have some more?