Rhys Bowen is one of the best contemporary cozy mystery authors around, and the seventh installment in her Constable Evan Evans series will delight lovers of the genre. In this outing, Evan and his fiancée, Bronwen, travel to Sawnsea, in southern Wales to visit his mother. There, he's confronted with disturbing news: The man who was released from prison only a few years after he was convicted of killing Evan's father has now been arrested for raping and murdering a local girl.

Although Evan would like to see Tony Mancini in prison for a good long while, after speaking with him, he is not convinced that Tony is guilty. This leads Evan to investigate what happened the night Alison Turnbull was killed.

Evan's ambivalence about Tony's fate makes this an interesting read. His disgust for the man who killed his father clashes with his belief that justice means an innocent person—even a disreputable one—should not be convicted of a crime. Evan's personal conflict, Bowen's appealing characters and her wonderfully picturesque depiction of life in Wales add up to a novel that cozy fans will not want to miss. (Mar., 256 pp. $23.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jo Peters