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Faithful unto Death,
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This review is from: Faithful unto Death (Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby Novels Book 5) (Kindle Edition)
Simone Hollingsworth fails to turn up for bell ringing practice and her husband says she has gone to visit her mother who is ill. But some of the villagers know that can't be right because Simone's mother died some years ago. Her husband seems to be behaving rather strangely too and when he is found dead Barnaby and Troy are sent to investigate what proves to be a very complex case.
Village life with all its gold fish bowl qualities is very well described as are the villagers themselves. I failed to work out what was going on until Barnaby himself suddenly worked it out. The clues are there when you look back but most readers will miss them I think. I liked the characters and thought they were well done especially the colourful and eccentric Elfrida and her friend Cubby who both see more than most people.
Troy and Barnaby are interesting characters themselves and their relationship is not always as smooth as it might be. Troy is a misogynist and fond of inappropriate jokes and comments which frequently annoy and disgust Tom Barnaby. I liked the glimpses the reader gets of Barnaby's home life where his indigestion problems are less common since he took over the cooking.
This is a well written book and a well written series where the characters are far from two dimensional and things don't always work out perfectly. Motivations are well drawn and the reader feels some sympathy for the villains even though they are guilty. If you like your crime novels in the classic mould then give this series a try - they can be read in any order.