The Hon. Mr and Mrs Bede Lambton, of Abberton Hall in Worcestershire, persuade their nephew Gregory to enter a competition run by the Syrian Ministry of Tourism. Gregory, a student in the archaeology department of Bristol University, produces a paper called ‘The Syrian Sapphire’. Subsequently Gregory’s housemate Sheena Morrison is murdered.
The Alkan Murder is a crime novel in the best British traditions of the genre, with red herrings and stimulating asides galore. The story is set in the present in a North Yorkshire hamlet. It allows the alert reader to identify the murderer in a helter-skelter of an investigation conducted by a seasoned but baffled detective team.
The book is a light-hearted detective story set in an eighteenth-century Yorkshire village. The vicar finds himself at the centre of an intrigue which leaves him bewildered – and in danger! - and no one else seems able or willing to investigate it. His reaction to the explanation, when he blunders into it, is both effective and humane.
While renovating the derelict twelfth-century chapel attached to their new house in rural Worcestershire in 1972, Grace and Benjamin Hothersall uncover three skeletons, which have clearly been the victims of murder. Inspector Wickfield is called in to investigate.
On the night of a blizzard an elderly couple are summoned to their daughter’s cottage two and a half miles away on urgent but unspecified business. When they reach the cottage they find it warm but empty. Unable to face the journey back home that night, they retire to bed in their daughter’s cottage. The following morning, they are found dead.
A young woman goes to an isolated Warwickshire monastery to visit her brother, who is a monk there. She is dropped off at the door, meets her brother in the parlour; they say goodbye and part; and she is never seen again. The monks, however, have a cast-iron alibi. The diffident and cultured Inspector Wickfield is called in to investigate.
In this third chronicle from Sherburn, the accident-prone vicar tells of his attempts to identify the murderer of his servant George. He becomes involved in more legal hot water than he has ever experienced before and is within a whisker of being transported for life. His dogged search eventually brings success – and a dilemma of conscience.
One February evening, Fr Wilfred, the parish priest of the Sacred Heart Catholic church in Droitwich, tumbles out of his confessional, stabbed to death. His sister demands the best detective in the force, and Stan Wickfield is appointed to the case. Unfortunately he cannot identify the means, motive much less the perpetrator of the murder.
The discovery of the body of a petty criminal one winter’s night in 2011, in a quiet Yorkshire hamlet, sets in train a series of events which stretches Inspector Walter Moat’s capabilities to the utmost. His wily opponent, as he eventually discovers, is an elusive master-criminal called Lomax.