When I’m away in another part of the country, I quite often pick up a book, usually a novel, or maybe two written by someone local and set in the area. A couple of weeks ago it was the annual family holiday, the first for three years, and my four cousins and their families and me and mine went to stay in a magnificent old house in Derbyshire at Monsal Head in the White Peak area.
We went to Derbyshire previously a few years ago and I bought a book by Stephen Booth, my favourite genre of police procedurals, and was delighted to find he had written over twenty more! The story was intriguing, it was well-written, realistic and believable characters, a really mystery, but the aspect which struck me most was the descriptions of the Derbyshire countryside which became a character in itself. I feel as if I struggle with landscape and location, I have to make an effort to write about it and so reading an author who does it well is enjoyable, and instructive.
This year we had a rainy start to our week away so rather than walking we wandered round some of the nearby towns, including a favourite Wirksworth. We were very sorry that the great little pub we had found last time, The Feather Star had closed, but we visited the excellent museum and had scones and coffee, looked at the exhibitions and I picked up another book by a local author. The book which I only started reading when we came home is The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins.
The main character is Meg Dalton, a very believable Detective Inspector who is tasked with solving a truly perplexing and very odd mystery. I’m really enjoying the book, there’s a humorous tone which doesn’t detract from the drama, believable characters, and various narrative threads which weave together. I am running the risk of reading it too quickly because it’s so gripping, but I’ve discovered there are two more books in the series, so I know what I’m going to be reading next!
This is what the blurb says:
- A shocking death -a lawyer is found dead in a Peak District cave, his face ribboned with scratches.
- A sinister message – amidst rumours of a local curse, DI Meg Dalton is convinced this is cold-blooded murder. There’s just one catch – chiselled into the cave wall above the body is an image of the grim reaper and the dead man’s initials, and it’s been there for over a century.
- A deadly game – as Meg battles to solve the increasingly disturbing case, it’s clear someone knows her secrets. The murderer is playing games with Meg – and the dice are loaded…