15th May 2022.
An archaeology assistant is murdered at a dig at Corfe Castle, Dorset. The three people she shared a house with become suspects in Lesley Clarke’s first investigation since leaving Birmingham. Immediately, she clashes with the traditional, DS Dennis Frampton. Then there’s the bomb attack which haunts Lesley and led to her transfer, problems back at home, and a second murder that follows the first.
All the ingredients are there for a classic police procedural, pitting savvy city cop against a more conservative, less experienced local team. The investigation follows a familiar path, raising questions about the main suspects as secrets are uncovered and alibis dispelled. There’s good support from Gail, an outspoken crime scene investigator and the pace picks up nicely as the detectives begin to piece together motives and means.
After being injured in a bomb attack, Lesley is presented with a choice – early retirement, or a period of respite in a calmer location.
But things don’t stay calm for long.
Before she’s even started her new job, Lesley is dragged into investigating a murder at one of England’s most iconic landmarks, the imposing Corfe Castle.
Lesley must hit the ground running. Can she get along with her new partner DS Dennis Frampton, a traditionalist who doesn’t appreciate her style? How will she navigate the politics of a smaller force where she’s a bigger, and less welcome, fish? And most importantly, can she solve the murder before the killer strikes again?
The Corfe Castle Murders is a compelling, character-driven mystery perfect for fans of Ann Cleeves, LJ Ross and Elly Griffiths.