I’ve lost all the sequence in the Inspector Skelgill series of novels, having jumped forward at some point and now needing to fill in the books I missed (I think I’ve caught up now). It doesn’t really matter, though, the basic formula doesn’t change – Inspector Skelgill, the crusty, misanthropic Cumbria policeman whose two passions are crime solving and fishing, supported by the attractive female DS Jones and transplanted cockney DS Leyton. In the background is always the unspoken attraction between him and Jones, which he’s too obtuse to follow up. But then women are always throwing themselves at him, and he generally doesn’t bother his head about them either.
In Murder at the Flood he has more than his share. Roger Alcock, a local kayaking outfitter with a reputation as a lady’s man, disappears during a freak flood. When his body is found a couple days later, it looks like he hit his head and drowned, but the pathologist says no. It was murder. Roger Alcock’s widow is an obvious suspect, but Skelgill is reluctant to believe it of her. He knew her as a girl, when he dated her older sister – who has now returned from Australia and taken direct sexual aim at Skelgill. There’s also a female TV reporter who’s willing to scratch his back if he’ll scratch hers – probably in more senses than one.
Skelgill will sort it all out in the end, as he always does.
Good entertainment in a good series. The disturbing stuff happens offstage, and the author happily admits that he edits out the worst language. Recommended, as is the whole series.