Muse's Books (muse_books) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Muse's Books

Books 70-71: Kissing the Demons and The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis

Book 70: Kissing the Demons (DI Joe Plantagenet, #3).
Author: Kate Ellis, 2011.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural.
Other Details: Hardback. 224 pages.

Thirteen Torland Place is a house with a disturbing past. Not only was it the scene of five terrible murders back in the nineteenth century, but the place is also linked to the disappearance of two teenage girls twelve years ago. When a student living there is found murdered, DI Joe Plantagenet wonders whether her death has anything to do with the house's grim history. Then other, similar deaths come to light and he fears that a ruthless serial killer is at work in the ancient Yorkshire city of Eborby, a killer who deprives each victim of one of their five senses. Could the deaths be connected to Obediah Shrowton, an executed murderer whose presence still seems to linger in the house? Or is there a yet more sinister and dangerous explanation? - synopsis from author's website.

Again this ticked all the boxes for me in terms of a compelling police procedural. The story had a number of red herrings keeping me guessing about whodunit and again this came as a surprise at the reveal. I am intrigued by Joe Plantagenet as a character and also like the dynamic between he and his boss, DCI Emily Thwaite. Joe Plantagenet is a widower, who still in mourning for the death of his wife some years previously. In Kissing the Demons along with the investigation into these chilling murders Joe also has to content with the reappearance of his sister-in-law, who is convinced that Joe murdered her sister and is determined to prove the same.

Book 71: The Merchant's House(Wesley Peterson, #1).
Author: Kate Ellis, 1998.
Genre: Crime Fiction. Police Procedural. Archaeology.
Other Details: Paperback. 256 pages.

Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson's first day in his new posting in South Devon finds him investigating the brutal death of a young woman on a cliff path while his new colleagues are searching desperately for a missing child. Then Wesley's old friend from university, archaeologist Neil Watson, unearths the bodies of a strangled young woman and a new-born baby on the site of a seventeenth century merchant's house: though luckily for the overstretched police force the skeletons are centuries old. But as the search for the missing child intensifies and the true identity of the body on the cliff path is established, Wesley begins to suspect a tragic link, spanning the centuries, between his investigations and Neil's: for motives of jealousy, sexual obsession and desperate longing are as old as time. And when the dark secret of the merchant's house is finally revealed, Wesley must act swiftly to avert a further tragedy. - synopsis from author's website.

Having so enjoyed Ellis' DI Joe Plantagenet series, I decided to check out her original one featuring Wesley Peterson, a black detective who has moved down from London to take up a new post in South Devon. Peterson had attended university in Exeter and graduated with a degree in archaeology, which leads to his involvement in the dig being led by his friend Neil at the merchant's house. From what I understand Peterson's interest in history is a thread that runs throughout the series.

Again this proved a winner with strong storyline, an engaging leading character and interesting supporting cast. I didn't quite take to Wesley's wife, Pam, but then I may warm to her as the series progresses. Due to its length I was able to sit down and read this in a single afternoon.
Tags: british, crime fiction, ghosts, murder mystery, police drama

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