Piatkus - October 2001
ISBN: 0749932694 - Paperback
British Mystery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
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The lost gardens of haunted Earlsacre Hall are being excavated at top speed, all ready for a grand opening. When a skeleton is unearthed bearing all the signs of having been buried alive the police are called in, but this skeleton is over 300 years old, buried under a stone plinth. Soon however the police have more modern bodies to worry about as a mysterious young man is found dead in a caravan in a holiday park. But why does he have a newspaper cutting about Earlsacre Hall under his mattress? DS (or rather Acting
Inspector) Wesley Peterson has to find out; but soon there will be another body and more skeletons uncovered by his archaeologist friend Neil - can these finds give him a clue as to the killer's identity as they have done so in the past?

As usual Ellis dishes up a good, teasing plot that appeals to fans of modern and historical detective novels alike. This is the fifth novel in this fine and unusual series that manages to combine the plotting and details of a traditional "cozy" with historical research and wraps the whole up in a well-realized and totally modern setting. The author's evocation of modern Devon (the home of this reviewer) is spot-on and manages to be realistic without being depressing or nostalgic. Highly recommended.

An Hallowed Grave #3
The Bone Garden #5
A Perfect Death #13
The Flesh Tailor #14
The Shadow Collector #17
The Shroud Maker #18
House of Eyes #20
The Mechanical Devil #22


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