Last year, I discovered the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series written by J. R. Ellis through Monica's blog, and downloaded all five that were available at that time. A sixth book is mentioned on the author's website, and I will make sure to read that one, too.
Not having been able to travel to Yorkshire last year, and with no chance for a Yorkshire holiday this year either, I can at least read stories set in the area I love so much!
You can find my reviews for books # 1 to 3 here, here and here, if you are interested. The "Unknown" person who commented on the 1st and 2nd book is, by the way, no other than the author himself - Mr Ellis was kind enough to react to an email I sent him after publishing the first two reviews here on my blog.
While it is not strictly necessary to read the series in order, it helps; every now and then, references are made to previous cases, and there is also some good character development with both background and current things about their personal lives that profits from reading in order.
This time, I was daft enough to mess up the order - I read # 5 before # 4. But by now I am familiar enough with DCI Oldroyd and the rest of the recurring cast that it did not matter that much.
Set in Harrogate, I was particularly interested in this book, and was delighted to find so much I know mentioned in the book - even the 36 bus going from Ripon to Harrogate, Brimham Rocks, and Ripley Castle, a place my sister and I never fail to visit when in Ripon.
During a Crime Writing festival in Harrogate, a famous author is found murdered one morning in the baths, with no apparent way out for the murderer. It's another locked room type mystery, the kind DCI Oldroyd is specialised on.
As more people meet a violent end, seemingly based on books by some of the authors present at the festival, the case becomes more and more complex, with the lines between fiction and reality blurring.
Oldroyd's private life is undergoing changes, too, and while his trusted sergeant Andrew remains a little in the background this time, Steph sets out on a very personal mission.
# 5: The Nidderdale Murders
A picturesque village in Nidderdale, a grouse moor and a popular pub are the main settings for this book.
The owner of the grouse moor is shot right outside the pub where he has just had a sumptuous dinner with his rich mates after a day of grouse shooting. By chance, the murder is witnessed from a window, and although the killer makes no attempt at concealing his identity, he seems to have vanished into thin air.
Yes, it's another special case for Oldroyd and his team, and after many twists and turns, the solution is surprising (and actually rather sad).
Like I said, I enjoyed both books very much and can't wait to get to the next one. In the meantime, I am still reading Barack Obama's Promised Land - that doorstopper of a book will probably take me all year to complete, but it is a very good read. I just need something different in between every now and then.