Detective Inspector Hillary Greene of the Kidlington Police in Oxfordshire thinks she’s going to get much-needed sleep. But she and her team are called to a murder scene in the middle of the night. A young woman attending a fancy-dress anniversary party has been found dead in a cowshed. Dressed as a bride, she’s been strangled.
There are few clues. No one saw the victim leave the party and make her way to the cowshed. She seemed well-liked. Her fiancé is distraught, beside himself with grief. Everyone seems shocked.
Greene and her team undertake the investigation, and it’s anything but simple. The victim may have had more love interests than her fiancé. The prospective father-in-law was adamantly against the marriage. One of her paramours was a local hood, into all kinds of crime but not known for killing girlfriends. And then the team discovers that she may have come to the party dressed in a bride’s costume to provoke someone deliberately – and possibly provoked them to murder.
The DI has her own problems to contend with while she investigates. There are the lingering after-effects of the activities of her late husband, a bent copper. An animal rights group has filed suit to gain control of her house, thinking it was paid for by the dead husband’s ill-gotten gains in the illegal animal trade. One and possibly two colleagues are interested in her romantically. And she has a new superintendent transferred from London for unknown reasons, and boss who thought he was going t get the job. Life is certainly complicated in Oxfordshire.
Murder of the Bride is the fourth DI Hillary Green mystery by British author Faith Martin. The author pulls off quite an amazing feat with how much she juggles – and juggles successfully – in this police procedural. It’s a fast-paced, fascinating story of love, jealousy, police department politics, and an investigating team whose members each have a number of their own dramas.
In addition to the DI Hillary Greene novels, Martin (a pen name for Jacquie Walton) has also published the Ryder and Loveday 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.