Thursday, November 25, 2021

"A Fatal Night" by Faith Martin

It’s the Big Freeze of December 1962 to March of 1963 in Britain, and Oxford’s snow-packed roads are icy. Many people are trapped at home, few roads and fewer sidewalks are cleared. A few have ventured out for the traditional New Year’s Eve parties.  

A man is found dead in his car; it looks as if he must have skidded off the road and ploughed into a tree. He was likely coming come from a party and may have had too much to drink. Because of a shortage of police officers, Women’s Police Constable (WPC) Trudy Loveday is dispatched tot her scene. And because the regular morgue physician can’t get there, she stops at the Oxford coroner’s house, and Dr. Clement Ryder accompanies here to the accident scene.


Dr. Ryfer is noticing the effects of his Parkinson’s Disease more and more, but so far, he’s managed to keep colleagues and friends from finding out. WPC Loveday qualifies as both; she and Dr. Ryder have worked together successfully on several murder cases.


Faith Martin

D. Ryder examines the body; he’s not convinced they’re looking at an accident. There are signs the man may have been drugged, and the autopsy will confirm it. As they trace the man’s movements, they discover an angry party hostess and her two rather venomous children, a party gate-crasher, a business partner the dead man had stolen funds from, and a host of others with motive and even opportunity.


A Fatal Night by Faith Martin is the newest entry in the Ryder and Loveday mystery series, and it can hold its head up with pride with its six predecessors. It even includes a fight scene that is one of the best described such scenes I’ve read. Martin effectively develops both detective characters individually and together. And adding to the interest is the appearance of Dr. Ryder’s son Vincent, who sees something is wrong with his father and finds himself attracted to WPC Loveday.


In addition to the Ryder and Loveday novels, Martin (a pen name for Jacquie Walton) has also published the series she’s best known for – the DI Hilary Greene novels, as well as the Jenny Sterling mysteries. Under the name Joyce Cato, she has published several non-series detective stories. Both Cato and Martin are also pen names for Walton. (Walton has another pen name as well – Maxine Barry, under which she wrote 14 romance novels.) A native of Oxford, she lives in a village in Oxfordshire.




A Fatal Obsession by Faith Martin.


A Fatal Mistake by Faith Martin.


A Fatal Flaw by Faith Martin.


A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin.


A Fatal Truth by Faith Martin.


A Fatal Affair by Faith Martin.

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