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The Cadaver Game (The Wesley Peterson Murder Mysteries) Paperback – International Edition, February 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"An exciting blend of historical and present-day police procedural . . . Peterson's skill and intuition make this is an involving, adventurous, nicely detailed work for all collections."  —Library Journal on The Merchant's House

"Capable plotting, an absorbing story line, and a cast of appealing characters make this fifth entry in the Peterson series a good choice for British procedural fans."  —Booklist on The Bone Garden
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kate Ellis is the author of the Wesley Peterson Series and the Joe Plantagenet series and has twice been nominated for the Crime Writers’ Association Short Story Dagger.


Product Details

  • Series: The Wesley Peterson Murder Mysteries (Book 16)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus Books; Export ed edition (February 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749953721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749953720
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,255,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Ellis was born in Liverpool and studied drama in Manchester. Kate has twice been nominated for the Crime Writers' Association Short Story Dagger and has alse been nominated for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Visit her at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By LucyB on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my first review, but I felt I needed to comment on the latest Wesley Peterson mystery--Cadaver Game. I've loved the series and eagerly read them all, but this one was somewhat disappointing, almost like the author just threw it together with little effort. First, too many bodies (4) at three different crime scenes--we never really get to know any of them as we did in past books. Second, way, way too many characters introduced who could be involved. Some get only a few paragraphs and then disappear never to be seen again. Third, little attention paid to the regular cast of characters. While I was relieved not to see much of the detective's whiny wife, the other characters are always of interest, and this book gives little information on what is going on with their lives. There are hints of romantic changes, but no real information. The historic mystery does mesh well with the modern mystery, but surprisingly doesn't fit into the archaeology very well. It is almost an afterthought when the historic body is found in the pseudo-archaeological site. As always the mystery is tidily wrapped up in the end, but I felt the author couldn't get interested in any of the many bodies and many characters she brought into the mix--so the end result is we don't know much about any of them. Not the author's best effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By VeryMuchRealityReviews on January 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
You'd think the police force of Devon would have seen sense and banned all archaeological investigations by now. Because every time that Neil of the Devon County Archaeological Service leads a dig into any kind of histocial topic - Viking longships, iron age forts, or here, as part of an art installation - his friend DI Wesley Peters of the local police force is sure to be notified about a murder. And the two are just guaranteed to be related in some unexpected but sinister way. We're onto the 16th book in the series by now, and the archaeolgoy and the murder are linked every time.

On the other hand, the unlikely historic coincidences are just part of the fun of this series of detective stories, where the archaeology gets as much time as the modern-day murders. They aren't gory, but at the same time, Ellis never forgets the sadness of police work, and the impact that it has on the police involved.

It's a great advert for having likeable characters in a novel series, and plenty of them. Ellis's series is just packed full of nice people - detectives and archaeologists - none of whom are in the least bit gritty or brooding. They're about as far away from Scandi-noir brooding heroes - or even Inspector Morse - as you can get. You might actually want to go to the pub with them, if you didn't mind hearing quite a lot about the problems of country archaeological funding. Gerry, the widowed senior policeman, might seem to have the potential for a bit of brooding, but gets over it by eating a lot of fish and chips, going to the pub, arguing with his teenagers and generally getting on with life.

Well worth reading for a cosy evening in with a bit of bite to it. Plus the fun of wondering why Neil and Wesley never seem to comment that once again, their two jobs have become mysteriously interlinked.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JS on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read all of the Wesley Peterson books out on e-books and have been pulled into each one within the first 2 chapters. Ellis balances good storytelling with excellent character development. This adventure does have a few more characters in it than is usual, but if you're read the other books nearly everyone is a welcome friend -- except of course the bad guys. And in this one, the baddies aren't evil as much as they are conflicted. Unlike some of her other books where the murderer(s??) are psychopaths, this book's crimes are more personal. I won't say more. Wesley is over-worked, and this time it's Trish who takes on much of the detective work instead of Rachel, which makes for a good change. One character who made a brief appearance in a couple of earlier books - a lazy cop who never quite came into focus - has disappeared entirely from this book, which is a good thing. Pam, Wesley's wife, is less center-stage and thankfully her ditzy/slummy mother only makes her presence felt via phone calls. (I'd be ok if Ellis let Pam's mother emigrate to New Zealand or someplace that gets her out of the books.) Wesley's friend Neil is digging up a picnic for an artist who is hilarious in a sick kind of way: a good comic take on some contemporary art and the poseurs who work harder at looking like artists than creating anything. There is plenty of Devon scenery to enjoy as the police drive to posh neighborhoods, old farms and modern slums. This time the archaeological storyline is harder to connect to the contemporary one because they are not as closely mirrored as in some of the other books. But on the plus side, it's harder to figure out and predict both story lines and that adds to the intrigue. Someone new to the series may not want to start with this book, and get an earlier title to get acquainted with everyone. But eventually you'll want to read this one, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Danielle Bird on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kate Ellis's Wesley Peterson series is wonderful. This is the best kind of police procedural - the Police, Wesley and his boss are a perfect team in seeking out the perpetrators of the grisly murders in their neck of the woods. Ellis deftly weaves historical events and current archeology into the crime investigation, providing the reader with an exciting link to the past as well as an understanding of archeology. Ellis also gives an extremely interesting view of police proceedure in England. Her books are interesting and exciting. Wesley also has a compelling home life and history with his degree in archeology and his interactions with wife Pam and their two children. The Cadaver Game is an intense book combining current murder with a 17 year old crime and a daunting past event that helps mold the area. The hunt victims are relatable and the characters leave you guessing as to who is guilty. Ellis then ties everything together perfectly, revealing the perpetrator and the links to the past into an extremely satisfying ending.
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