I’ve become a big fan of the Eric Ward mysteries by British author Roy Lewis, but I’m reading them faster than the publishing is reissuing them (they were originally published in 1980s, and 1990s). And now I’ve reached the eighth novel, and there’s no word on the next nine.
Eric Ward is a former policeman forced to resign because he was losing his eyesight to glaucoma. He turned to the study of law, and a successful eye surgery has saved his eyesight. He maintains a practice in commercial and maritime law in Newcastle in Yorkshire. He’s married to the former Ann Morcomb, a wealthy woman some 13 years his junior and who operates both the family estates and a considerable number of investments. An ongoing source of tension between them is his refusal to act as her attorney and maintain his own practice.
Over the years of their marriage, Eric has found himself involved in a number of legal cases that spill over into criminal law. He’s made a name for himself, not only for what’s accomplished in Newcastle but also in business circles in London.
In The Apartment Murder, Eric and Ann are both attending a reception in London when they meet Eileen O’Hara, chairman of the board of Broadlands, a manufacturing company that is likely the focus of a leveraged buyout. And O’Hara wants Eric to be her adviser; she’s heard his reputation.
What looks like a high finance / merger and acquisition activity begins to edge into personal animosity, old scores to settle, and, ultimately, murder. And it’s Eric ward who begins to ferret out the truth. He’s also sensing a dangerous attraction to O’Hara.
Lewis is the author of some 60 other mysteries, novels, and short story collections. His Inspector Crow series includes A Lover Too Many, Murder in the Mine, The Woods Murder, Error of Judgment, and Murder for Money, among others. The Eric Ward series, of which The Sedleigh Hall Murder is the first (and originally published as A Certain Blindness in 1981), includes 17 novels. The Arnold Landon series is comprised of 22 novels. Lewis lives in northern England.
The Apartment Murder is a riveting story of greed, corporate duplicity, and passions run amok, with Eric Ward trying to hold on to his reputation for honesty. My only regret is that I have to wait until the ninth in the series is published.