Thursday, September 16, 2010
Six Feet Under
Stuffy and self-satisfied, the Inspector could rival M. Poirot, were it only that he had a sense of humour.
But the poor man in trying.
Now that his partner, DC Mike Lineham, is about to enter the matrimonial state (the only state, by the way, that Luke Thanet thinks fit to live in, so it's high time), he turns his moral apprehensions homeward.
And my, does Inspector Thanet find something to fret about: His wife Joan is thinking of ... how could she? ... joining the workforce. Life, Thanet predicts, will never be as sweet, harmonious, or comfortable as it is with Joan waiting for him quietly at home.
While he gnashes his teeth over this familial conundrum, a more serious domestic drama unfolds in the bucolic village of Nettleton. Carrie Birch, an introverted spinster devoted to the care of her invalid mother, is found murdered.
Who would want to harm a woman so drab and selfless as Carrie?
As Thanet and Lineham go digging, they turn up plenty of dirt, as it were, on Carrie and the few villagers she lived among.
Miss Lemon doesn't feel as though she's giving much away if she says that Thanet is wise and decent enough to see from the business in Nettleton that a stranglehold put on a loved one is no way to ensure that love is returned.
As Miss Lemon said, he is trying. Despite Inspector Thanet's irritating ways, this is a smartly plotted and psychologically insightful mystery. Well worth the read.