Let’s be frank. I’ve been knee-deep in research on the Wars of the Roses for my work in progress, and I have to say this is some of the most complicated and confusing reading I’ve had to do for a long while (and I thought the English Civil War had a lot going on!). So when my dear author friend JG (Jane) Harlond told me about her latest murder mystery novel, Courting Danger, and offered me an Advance Review Copy, I was a little worried that I had no brain cells left for solving a murder! NO worries! I had the best time traipsing around Cornwall with Detective Bob Robbins–truly a mental vacation that did me the world of good. Here’s the blurb and my review, and I absolutely recommend you take yourself off to the west country and enjoy a week in Bob’s company. You’ll not regret it!
“Dr Lanyon might have been a well-respected physician, PC Oliver, but he had the morals of an alley-cat.”
Cornwall, England, 1943. Dumpy, grumpy wartime detective Bob Robbins is sent to investigate a doubtful suicide in a remote moorland pool. Gogmagog Ditch is steeped in folklore but what attracted the victim to such a desolate spot, and why?
Dr Corin Lanyon was liked by all and loved by many – especially women. Assisted by young PC Oliver, Bob untangles the victim’s relationships and connection to a Celtic heritage group, revealing a network of deceit and stolen museum pieces. Could one of the folklore group be guilty of murder, or was it the doctor’s mad aunt? Or one of the American GIs preparing for D-Day?
A second death in an ancient stone circle means Bob and Laurie must focus on where the crimes were committed – starting with another visit to the bleak moorland pool and the discovery of a sacred cave in a hollow hill.
Courting Danger is a thrilling tangled web of clues set in the breath-taking beauty of the Cornish moors during WWII that any mystery fan will love.
I didn’t want to leave!
Atmospheric moorlands, ancient folklore and magic, and a curmudgeonly retired detective who discovers more than a mysterious death in his locale (slight spoiler alert — will cupid’s dart penetrate Detective Robbins tough exterior?). From the moment a body is discovered in a lonely haunted beauty spot to the satisfying tidying up of red herrings and loose ends, I was completely immersed in JG Harlond’s newest Bob Robbins quintessential English murder mystery. Set in 1943, Ms Harlond captures the spirit of wartime Britain and serves up a deliciously unrationed feast of secret trysts, torrid affairs and pagan rituals against a backdrop of the brooding Cornish countryside. Crackling with wit and sardonic humour, I absolutely loved the characters and their behaviour; I truly was waiting for the knock on my door announcing Detective Robbins was here to interview me, so immersed was I in the story. I had not read Ms Harlond’s previous two Detective Robbins novels; however I’m a huge fan of her historical fiction, and her brilliant ability to bring characters to life shines in this genre too. Highly recommend – just be sure you remember your way home, because you’ll want to stay in this world!