The bestseller writer David Cleeve meets Inspector Wycliffe by chance, but takes the opportunity to tell him that he has received death threats over several months, each time in the form of a jack from a pack of cards. Wycliffe cannot do much as he is on a holiday together with his patient wife. Besides, he has already guessed that the writer has left out a couple of things. Of course Wycliffe´s holiday is interrupted very soon when a young girl is killed near the bed and breakfast where he is staying, and there is no doubt that there is a connection between the victim and Cleeve´s family.
I have read a couple of Wycliffe mysteries before, but this is the first one featuring DS Lucy Lane (in the TV series she is his smart and thoughtful sidekick). At first Wycliffe is sceptical, but Lucy can hold her own, and throughout the story he learns that he has a new, intelligent sparring partner on his team.
In some ways the story reminded me of Barbara Vine´s The Chimneysweeper´s Boy, but it does not have the same psychological depth. Furthermore I thought it was quite amusing that I had picked a book with a jack (or knave) on the cover without thinking about it.
Good choice for a hot day in the garden or on the beach. Not exactly a demanding book, but a very nice mystery.
The book was a prize for finishing the Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge (not that a prize was needed – it was a very pleasant challenge, Phryne).
Today the Cosy Knave Baton is on it´s way down under to Kerrie.