There’s no shortage of suspects when a body turns up in a charming English village in this mystery starring mild-mannered Detective Inspector Thanet.
Det. Inspector Luke Thanet is pulling into his driveway, anticipating a long, lazy evening at home, when murder intervenes. A village so lovely it seems straight out of a fairytale, Ribbleden is far from the main roads and Thanet’s usual beat. When the inspector pulls into town, the quiet country streets are deserted: Everyone is crowded outside the manor gates, waiting to learn what happened to Nerine Tarrant.
A notorious woman with a taste for married men, Nerine was found dead on her patio, her neck broken by the fall from the second floor. The wall was too high for an accidental tumble, and a woman with Nerine’s lust for life would never have committed suicide. Many in Ribbleden wanted her dead—but who gave her the final push?
Written by the CWA Silver Dagger–winning Dorothy Simpson, this classic village mystery with a shocking modern twist is perfect for fans of P. D. James or Midsomer Murders.
Element of Doubt is the 7th book in the Inspector Thanet Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.
This mild and methodical mystery unfolds in a picturesque English village where gentlemanly detective-inspector Luke Thanet is hard-pressed to discover who pushed beautiful but unpleasant Nerine Tarrant over the second-story balcony of her manor "High Gables'' to her death below. There is no lack of suspects, and Thanet, with stolid, respectable Sgt. Lineham at his side, is kept busy interviewing them. Did Nerine's husband Roland, although seemingly shattered by her death, finally seek revenge for her many infidelities? Could her senile mother-in-law, terrified at Nerine's threats to send her to a nursing home, have given her the fatal shove? What about Celia Speed, whose husband and son were both having affairs with the promiscuous Mrs. Tarrant? Even Nerine's 18-year-old-son Damon and her sister Daphne may have their own complicated reasons for wanting her dead. Kindly, pipe-smoking, utterly domestic Thanet gently probes into every aspect of village life, carefully gleaning leads from the most recalcitrant suspect. The seventh book in the Luke Thanet series is a bloodless mystery with emphasis on a thoughtful, logically persued course of action that does, however, end up being solidly charming.