In the third book in Kay L. Stewart and Chris Bullock's Danutia Dranchuk Mystery series, Danutia's friend Arthur Fairweather believes that his mother's death was the result of foul play. As Danutia and Arthur begin questioning the villagers of the Peak District, they begin to understand the dark rituals that are observed in the town, and hope to save a kidnapped young boy before he becomes a victim of these evil forces. Liza Ross performs a variety of British brogues with a settling, unfussy ease, but she is best at capturing the suggestive and intense rapport between Danutia and Arthur.
The third book in the Danutia Dranchuk mystery series reunites RCMP constable Danutia Dranchuk with her friend, drama critic Arthur Fairweather.
Danutia is observing a youth rehabilitation program in England when Arthur returns to the Peak District to attend his mother’s funeral. Suspecting foul play in her death, Danutia and Arthur question the feuding village. They soon discover that the practice of ancient Celtic rituals persists and has evolved into a dangerous and deadly ceremony.
In a region with chilling reminders of child labour during the Industrial Revolution, Danutia must navigate a community with a complex and layered history. And, her personal and professional boundaries become blurred. When a child from the village is abducted, the race to save him leads Arthur into extreme danger. Only Danutia has a chance of rescuing both Arthur and the child from an “unholy rite.”
©2013 Kay Stewart and Chris Bullock (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
This book is set in 1997, which could have been made clearer at the beginning. I kept wandering why no one, not even the police, had a cell phone and why there was smoke in enclosed work areas such a pubs and police stations, not to mention a reference to an IRA bombing in the recent past. Come to think of it, I had a Motorola flip phone in 1997 so I still don't know why at least the police didn't have them.
Anyway a Constable of the RMCP, Danutia Dranchuk is seconded to the Peak district in the United Kingdom to learn about community policing. She attends the funeral of the mother of a friend she met in Canada when investigating another murder and learns that her friend has some concerns about whether his mother's death had been caused by some action or inaction of someone in the village. He wants her to take a look at some scrapbooks his mother had kept to try to help him figure out what was going on. There's a Well Dressing going on and a dispute between the rather conservative Vicar and some members of a alternative healing/WICCA group.
There's quite a bit of confusion as Danutia and her friend Arthur keep missing opportunities to look at the scrap books together until about 40% in on the Kindle book when Danutia and Arthur are involved in a car wreck. Arthur had also been a jerk about wearing a seatbelt and ends up with injuries. Danutia has the car examined and learns that the brake line was cut causing the accident.
Meanwhile there is some ritual sheep mutilations and a few break-ins with stolen spoons and Toby Jugs.
There's a bit of excitement toward the end, but the conclusion is a bit weak. I didn't particularly care for the characters either.
The narrator wasn't horrible but I think I have run into her before. She does not do children well, giving the younger boy some sort of pinched, lispy annoying voice.
AND POSSIBLE SPOILER---
DON'T READ BELOW THIS LINE IF YOU CARE
The is also one of my least favorite tropes in this book-- A character gets a bit tipsy and has unprotected sex and then thinks she has the flu because she is throwing up so often and even the thought of food makes her feel ill. Then after she figures it out every time she does anything active she worries about losing the baby.
And the take away from the book? Don't force your child to do necropsies, it can turn him or her into a psychopath.
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