FOUL PLAY AT FOUR
This series has reached the point where the mystery exists only to provide a reason to revisit Long Farnden’s delightful inhabitants. In fact, there’s no real mystery to solve — the culprits are identified immediately, and the narrative is mostly the story of a cat-and-mouse game between them and Lois. The characters are, as always, well done, and Purser really examines the changes that are happening to the English village way of life through subplots and small details. Longtime fans will enjoy catching up with the Meads, and new readers will find it easy to drop right into the action.
When a rash of burglaries hits Long Farnden, New Brooms owner Lois Meade takes it personally — her daughter’s village shop is robbed, and then her husband Derek is knocked out when he interrupts the thieves at Farnden Hall, the estate belonging to Mrs. Tollervey-Jones. The culprits appear to be two local lads, now on the lam and with Lois in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, Mrs. Tollervey-Jones has made a big decision and needs Lois’ help to see it through. (PRIME CRIME, Dec., 320 pp., $24.95)