Detective Inspector Hillary Greene of the Kidlington Police in Oxfordshire has some interesting staffing problems. Her detective constable, who’d seemed to have been working out after his transfer under a cloud from London, might be having romantic issues. One detective sergeant, Frank Ross, is the policeman nobody wants. And a brand-new detective sergeant who appears young, energetic, and extraordinarily competent, but Greene senses she’s up to something.
And the new DS certainly is up to something. She’s a former squeeze of Greene’s deceased husband Ronnie, a bent cop who’d squirreled away millions in ill-gotten gains. And it’s those millions the new DS is after, even if she has to rifle through Greene’s purse and break into the canal boat where she lives.
And a new murder is reported. Two boys find a body in a meadow near the River Cherwell near Oxford. The victim is a young artist known for his multitude of affairs with middle-aged and older women. The red paper heart held in place by a large stone on the man’s chest suggests someone had finally gotten tired of the affairs. The medical examiner determines it was death by drowning – the victim was knocked out and held underwater.
Suspects and motives bound in Murder in the Meadow, the seventh DI Hillary Greene mystery novel by British author Faith Martin. Like its predecessors, it’s a standalone story, although to watch Greene develop her detective skills and manage the fallout from her crooked husband is a treat in and of itself. And to see this new detective sergeant up to what is clearly no good adds another layer of depth and interest to the story.
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.