LUCRETIA GRINDLE – So Little to Die For. Inspector Ross #2. Pocket, paperback original, 1994.

   Lucretia Grindle has spent much of her time in England, but now lives in Massachusetts. I thought her first pbo, The Killing of Ellis Martin, was a good traditional British mystery. I don’t remember it getting much attention, though.

   Inspector Ross of the Kent CID is having a bit of a holiday in Scotland, but we know how that goes, don’t we? He meets a British group in a restaurant and chats with them, and the next day four of the six are dead, brutally murdered by shotgun blasts on their small cottage.

   A local shepherd is quickly arrested, but for various reasons Ross does not believe him guilty. He speaks to the investigating officer but does not convince him, and might have let the matter lie despite his doubts — until he’s handed evidence that some of the parties involved have lied to the police. Now he’s got the bit in his teeth, and over the fences we go in pursuit of an unknown fox.

   I still think Grindle is worth reading. Her prose is smooth, and she does a nice job of characterizing the widower Ross and his Welsh Sergeant, Owen Davies. Her focus is a bit more on her detective than is the case with the more traditional authors like Burley and Clark, but that’s clearly the tradition in which she works.

   While this isn’t really a village mystery, it has that feel, and her first was. There isn’t a great deal of depth either intended or achieved in her books, but she does furnish a pleasant read.

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #17, January 1995.

Bibliographic Update:   While there were only the two books in Lucretia Grindle’s Inspector Ross series, she continued on as a writer, adding four more mystery novels to her resume, beginning in 2003. For more information about her, you might start by checking out her Wikipedia page here.