The Dungeon House: A Lake District Mystery
Poisoned Pen, Sep 1 2015, $26.95
Two decades ago in coastal Cumbria, affluent Malcolm and Lysette Whiteley host their annual gala for friends and family at Dungeon House. Instead of joy at their party, Malcom is disheartened from his business in trouble and irate at Lysette’s not very discrete affairs. Her demand for a divorce sends intoxicated Malcom over the edge; he ponders whether to include their sixteen year old daughter in his murder-suicide.
Three years ago, fourteen years old Lily Elstone vanished while riding her bike. That case turned cold until yesterday; fifteen years old Shona Whiteley failed to arrive at a friend’s sleepover. Cumbria Cold Case Review consultant (and retired cop) Les Bryant briefs Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett and Detective Chief Maggie Eyre on the key link between the two teen disappearances: Lily’s father Gray was the accountant to Shona’s infamous great Uncle Malcolm.
The seventh Lake District police procedural (see The Frozen Shroud, The Serpent Pool and The Hanging Wood) is a fabulous investigation that deftly ties together a twenty-year old horrible tragedy, a cold case disappearance and a missing person’s inquiry. Filled with terse suspense as Scarlett fears time is running out for Shona, Martin Edwards writes a terrific mystery anchored by a deep cast desperately searching for the missing teen.