Chief Superintendent Anthony Hetheridge of Scotland Yard, aka the Baron of Wellgrave, has barely recovered from a close personal brush with death. But he’s gotten through it. He arrives one morning at the Yard to find two officers involved in a very loud and very public argument over the conduct of an investigation. One of them is Detective Sergeant Kate Wakefield, who was born and raised in London’s East End, about as far from the privileged life of Hetheridge as you can find.
Hetheridge has Wakefield join his investigative team. Over time he learns that she has a mentally disabled brother and a nephew living at home with her, the nephew a gift from a sister serving jail time.
The team is called to investigate a particularly gruesome murder in very upscale Belgravia. A man has been beaten to death with a fireplace poker, his face almost obliterated. Complicating the investigation is the man’s wife, a former romantic interest of Hetheridge’s. The victim was a rather nasty piece of bad news, hated by almost everyone who knew him. The investigation has no lack of suspects.
Ice Blue by Emma Jameson is the first of five “blue” murder stories in the Lord and Lady Hetheridge detective series. It superficially resembles the Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers detective series of Elizabeth George, but the resemblance is only that – superficial. Hethbridge and Wakefield have very different characters than those in the Inspector Lynley series.
In addition to the Hetheridge series, Jameson has a second series of novels featuring the amateur detective Dr. Benjamin Bones. The series begins in Cornwall during World War II, and it has a companion series called “The Magic of Cornwall.” Jameson is currently working on the third Dr. Bones mystery.
The highlight of Ice Blue is watching the unfolding relationship between Hetheridge and Wakefield as they go about their investigation. They’re attracted to each other but maintain a professional working relationship, with only an occasional slip that surprises them both.
It’s an entertaining read, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Top photograph: Homes in Belgravia by Paul Farmer via Wikimedia Commons.
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