Continuing my run of Elly Griffiths novels, this is the first in the Harbinder Kaur series. Harbinder is a detective near Brighton, UK who is brought in to investigate when a schoolteacher is murdered at Harbinder’s former school. The other main protagonist, Clare, is a fellow teacher and friend of the murdered woman. More violence occurs, which seems to center around Clare and a Victorian short story known as The Stranger by the fictional R.M.Holland.
What sets this book apart was the way it integrated the fictional short story, telling short snippets as the violence grows, and tying the violence in to it. In addition, as always, I love love love Griffiths female leads – they are so well-defined and distinct that they seem like real people to me. The downside to this one was that I think I figured out in the fourth chapter who the murderer was, even though this isn’t a book where you’re supposed to know and that’s supposed to be part of the tension. For me, it seemed like there was only one possibility, and it seemed like slightly sloppy police work not to look in that direction.
However, still enjoyed it and still will read more.