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Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey
Nicholas Rhea

Robert Hale
31 October 2013
ISBN 9780719811685
Mystery / Contemporary / Yorkshire, England

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Anybody who watched the long-running TV series Heartbeat, or who have read any of Mr Rhea’s Constable series (several reviewed on this site) will know who Nick Rowan is. Now retired from the police, Rowan is helping to train a small private police force of monks (called monkstables) who keep the peace on Maddleskirk Abbey. This is a huge complex of buildings, including a school where currently a sculptor is working on a masterpiece and a team of archaeologists are digging. When a very modern body is found in an ancient stone coffin, Nick and his monkstables have their work cut out, especially when somebody also goes missing…

I was a fan of the series, so was pleased to once again find out what Nick is up to, and get up-to-date with the story. Maddleskirk Abbey is surely based on a real place, and the author’s descriptions of its busy community bring the tale to life. There is a lot to enjoy in here, from the lively sketches of the local characters (including Claude Jeremiah Greengrass to the murder investigation and missing person hunt. The whole is enlivened by Mr Rhea’s own experiences as a police officer, and the meticulous descriptions of the cases make this a true example of the procedural. Shining through, as well, is the author’s sense of humor and love of Yorkshire, making this one to look out for if you are a fan of his earlier work (including the TV series).

Reviews of other titles in this series

Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey #1
Confession at Maddleskirk Abbey #2

Reviewed 2014