ABOUT THE BOOK
It’s January 1940 and the day of Nuala’s famous motor rally. Excitement is at full throttle, but matters take a dark turn when that same evening, human remains are found buried in a lonely corner of a local tea plantation.
Inspector de Silva has a cold case to solve. Add a playboy racing driver, a missing Bugatti and a family scandal hushed up years ago into the mix and he has plenty to think about. You can be sure that whatever happened in the past, now de Silva’s in the driving seat, you’re in for a gripping ride.
What a tremendous series this is that whisked me away to January 1940, just after the start of the second world war in1939. I was more than ready to rub shoulders with the gentry out in Nuala, Ceylon, and one of my favourite couples Inspector de Silva and his sharp thinking and beautiful wife, Jane. The story takes off at speed as the couple go to watch motor cars racing around the town, incorporating the original narrow streets and much wider streets from British intervention. After the race, they all retire to a tea plantation to celebrate the prince’s win.
It is early Sunday morning that de Silva gets a call from his long-standing boss. The remains of a skeleton had been discovered, at the plantation, but whoever could it be? This is the tenth book in this cosy crime series, with its close circle of regular performers.
Although The Inspector and his wife are often included, in this circle of the town’s elite, they know their place too.
It isn’t too long before the bones are identified, and the investigation begins. Finding the bones was the easy part, digging into how and why this person died, and by whom is another. There are a handful of suspects very quickly, and all of them have a reason for murder, but who was the one to take that step.
I feel passionate about this series and the characters with their quirks and pompous attitudes. The Inspector always seems quite chilled, not rushing headlong to conclusions. His wife Jane is his sounding board guiding him without him knowing it in the right direction that he would have eventually taken anyway. Highly recommended as always.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harriet Steel is a British author who writes a series of widely praised, atmospheric mysteries in a traditional style. A few years ago, she spent time on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and this is where they are set, but in the 1930s rather than the modern day, when it was still the British colony of Ceylon. Her love of history, art, and travel influences her writing, and she also published four historical novels before turning to crime.
Born in London, her family then moved to a farm in the country where she grew up. She later studied law at Cambridge University and was a lawyer for many years before becoming a writer. She would love to go back in time and spend a day having lunch with Hercule Poirot, tea with Miss Marple, and dinner at the Ritz with Lord Peter Wimsey.