Here’s another book for RIP XVI, although a cozy one.
People in the town of Otterbridge are shocked when the body of Dorothea Cassidy, the vicar’s wife, is found murdered in the park. Most of the people in town loved her, she was so vibrant and enthusiastic.
Inspector Ramsey and Sergeant Hunter are having difficulty retracing her movements on the day before. Almost everyone who saw her is lying in some way. Old Walter Tanner found her car in his driveway that morning, and only he admits to disliking her, saying she was constantly after him to approve of changes she wanted to make to the church.
The Inspector Ramsey books are one of Cleeves’s earlier series. I have read all of her Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez books and a couple of stand-alones. Although this one has a clever premise, it feels less polished than the others. Cleeves often lets readers know some of what her suspects are thinking, but information about them is introduced naturally in the other books, for example, in conversations between characters. Here, we no sooner meet a character than we are told several facts about the person, a device which seemed clumsy to me. Also, character development seems quite a bit sketchier.