Payment In Blood by Elizabeth George

All I know about Inspector Lynley has been gleaned from public television. Shout out for PBS. I can’t swear to it but I may have found this book in a bag my parents acquired from their very frequent bookstore raids. I can say: when you have a family of readers, you are never at a loss for a good book.

This one sat in the pile for a long time. Note to editors and publishing houses – covers matter. The cover was a real turn off which was the off putting feature. It looks like a little old lady’s romance on the outside. But inside? Fantastic.

This read like any of the very best that Agatha Christie or PD James have written. A classic mystery in the fact that a theatre troupe, in an old house converted to an inn located in the Scottish hills, is locked down after one of their number is murdered. Inspector Lynley is called in from New Scotland Yard to investigate. He has some personal issues with this investigation which may impinge on his impartiality.

But, the investigation must go on and it does with many blind ends, twists, turns and a surprise finish that can’t be predicted like so many of these types of books. I too, like other readers started reading the series at number 2. This does not deter the reader because background is provided as one reads on.

If number 2 is this good, I can’t imagine how much better they get going forward. The writing will only improve and the details will only get crisper and the story lines more complex. Don’t let the cover fool you. This is no old lady book. It’s a great read for every mystery fan.



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