“OK GUV’NOR – IT’S A FAIR COP …you got me bang to rights…” I don’t suppose fictional villains have uttered those words for many years, but I have to confess my personal guilt and push my wrists forward for the click of steel as the handcuffs snap to. My crime? (Takes a deep breath..) I am addicted to crime fiction set in England. Well, there it is. Out in the open. People are supposed to feel better after confession, aren’t they?
Many of you may have suspected this for some time. My enthusiasm for Jim Kelly, Christopher Fowler, Phil Rickman (well, OK, I know Merrily sometimes strays into Wales in the course of her priestly duty..) Dorothy L Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Graham Hurley, Mark Billingham, Chris Nickson, Nick Oldham, and many more is, I hope pretty obvious. I retain a healthy respect for dark deeds further to the north, and yield to no man in my adoration of Harry Bingham’s Welsh lass, Fiona Griffiths. A corner of my heart is forever Los Angeles when it comes to PI novels, and the humid passions of The Deep South as described by James Lee Burke and Greg Iles will always set my pulse racing.
But it is England, my England for me, when it comes to a crime read that will force its way to the top of my reading pile. Should someone have the temerity to conduct an autopsy on my mortal remains when I Cross The Bar, they may well find two words engraved on my heart. The Midlands. The land of my birth, the home of Shakespeare, Philip Larkin, Arnold Bennett, The Archers – and the Crossroads Motel.
There are few places more English than the lovely town of Evesham, the setting for Beyond All Doubt, by local author Paige Elizabeth Turner. The River Avon adds majesty to the Worcestershire town, but can also yield unpleasant discoveries, as when the bloated corpse of Juanita Morales is finally released by the riverbed weeds, much to the horror of passers by, and to the vexation of local police officers DI Marchant and DS Watts.
Beyond All Doubt, which is on sale now, has all the elements of a police procedural combined with a tense legal drama, and the bonus of a wonderful geographical setting. If you are lucky enough have a decent local bookseller you can find the book there and it is, as ever, available on Amazon. If you want to find out more about the author, you can go to her own website by clicking the image below.