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by Rebecca Tope
Allison & Busby, June 2003
240 pages
17.99 GBP
ISBN: 0749006161

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Drew Slocombe and his partner, Maggs, run a natural burial ground, in rural East Devon, which is becoming more popular. Den Cooper, former policeman, now works for social services and is living with Maggs. Karen Slocombe has become involved in selling organic produce that she grows between the burial ground and the house she and Drew live in.

For some unexplained reason, Karen and her young daughter go to visit the local supermarket. They have just left when the plate glass front window explodes outward. The child is traumatized but neither of them are hurt. Since Karen is a committed member of the Food Chain group, a natural food organization, she really had no reason to go to the supermarket.

A few days later, a neighboring stall holder at Bradbourne Farmer's market is shot through the neck by a crossbow bolt. He dies instantly. But why should he have been murdered? He makes and sells apple juice. That doesn't seem to be a reason for murder.

Mary Thomas, one of the leaders of the organic food movement in this part of Devon is at both venues, but both times, she leaves before the police get there. And Karen doesn't tell the police when they question her.

This is the second book featuring both of Tope's protagonists. She is one of the few authors who have taken rural England as her scene. If you like procedurals that are slightly off-kilter, that deal with problems that most of us never even think about, then you really should try one of her books.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, June 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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