From Publishers Weekly
British author Topes two series detectives, Det. Sgt. Den Cooper and amateur sleuth/"alternative undertaker" Drew Slocombe, join forces in her fifth mystery (after 2003s A Death to Record), a dark, unsettling cozy set in rural East Devon. When Drew and his wife, Karen, entertain Karens cousin Penn Strabinski for an afternoon, they learn that Penn has come to seek Drews help in finding another cousin, Justine Pereira, who has gone missing. Justine had been living on what was a working farm until mad cow disease forced the slaughter of the livestock. With the help of his irreverent assistant, Maggs, and the hard-luck detective sergeant (just back from a disastrous fortnights holiday on Corfu), Drew unravels a complex tangle of hidden secrets and murder. Readers drawn by the placid swath of green English countryside on the jacket should be prepared for a challenging plot and a host of psychologically wounded characters, including a cold and driven career woman, a devastated farmer and an unhappy housewife. A character list helps keep track of the complicated family relationships.
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Tope brings the sleuths from her two mystery series together to solve a complicated case in rural East Devon. Undertaker Drew Slocombe and Detective Sergeant Den Cooper get involved in the search for a missing girl and find that all is not calm in the lovely farm country. The eccentric members of a thoroughly dysfunctional family are too busy with their careers, hobbies, and feuds to be bothered with tasks such as parenting. The deaths of a woman and a child don't seem to bother them a bit. The solution reveals a very tangled web that leaves Cooper so disillusioned that he considers resigning from the force. This country not-so-cozy could easily turn up as a PBS mystery. Tope has created an intriguing plot and a cast of unlikable but fascinating loonies. Barbara BibelCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved