JOHN BUXTON HILTON – Dead-Nettle. Inspector Thomas Brunt #3. Macmillan, UK, hardcover, 1977. St. Martin’s, US, hardcover, 1977.

   Hilton works the previously untapped treasure lode of tales from the English lead-mining country of Derbyshire once again. The year is 1905, and the grist of  Inspector Brunt’s dogged investigation is the death of a miner’s  long lost wife, a woman who had suddenly returned to him without warning.

   Complicating matters is the shyly aloof man’s new love, the mine owner’s daughter and a remarkably liberated lady for the times.  Much of the affair is related second-hand, but that in no way interferes with the reader’s growing involvement with the players upon the stage.

   Superb melodrama.

Rating: A minus

– Slightly revised from The MYSTERY FANcier, September/October 1978.