by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Buried in the Country. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and from an indie bookstore where a portion goes to help support KRL.
The first week of March is not the best time for traveling in Cornwall, but a missive from the Commonwealth Relations Office has Eleanor venturing just up the coast to Tintagel for a stay at the King Arthur Hotel. A retired ambassador for an international charity, Eleanor’s presence for a politically touchy situation has been personally requested by Sir Edward Bellowe. The late 1960s are an especially turbulent time for Africa, with Rhodesia’s colonial government facing violent opposition from black African nationalists. Sir Bellowe is hoping to sway the next generation of Africans towards a more peaceful path, and to feel out their amenability he is arranging a meeting of two prospects on student visas. To keep the conference hidden from Rhodesia’s intolerant prime minister, Sir Bellowe is secretly hosting it away from the cities and where spies would definitely be noticed.
Eleanor’s niece, DCI Megan Pencarrow, has two assignments that, considering Cornwall’s size, inevitably overlap into Eleanor’s activities. Attorney Alan Freeth has gone missing, and while readers quickly see him be discovered by Eleanor’s neighbor, it’s Megan’s superseding task that finds her holed up in the King Arthur Hotel with her aunt. Megan is to go undercover as security for Sir Bellowe’s visiting Oxford scholar, while the more riotous London School of Economics student is being accompanied by Megan’s ex-boyfriend, Scotland Yard’s Ken Faraday. It looks to be a divisive meeting all around, as the two contentious Africans happen to be exes themselves. When a blustering rainstorm traps most of the guests inside, Megan and Eleanor engage in an action-packed car chase through the foggy moors that would be simplified by twenty-first century communications. Never fear, as Eleanor and her West Highland Terrier Teazle prove more than capable by use of a whistle, stellar sniffing skills, and sheer determination.
This fourth book in the Cornish series reads like a delightful travelogue through the coast’s dampest country roads, tinged with historical and political observations. Author Carola Dunn, renowned for her Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, makes the era’s complicated international intrigue absolutely fascinating. Considering that this was a time when even the country’s name was in contention—Rhodesia versus Zimbabwe—the struggle against colonialism and British nationalism was rife with conflict. It is all kept relatable when seen through the eyes of Eleanor and Megan, who alternate narrative viewpoints with neighbor Nick Gresham, an artist who finds himself saddled with information that places him in the midst of the chaos. The sexist, elitist, and ageist attitudes are very much alive in this period, yet Megan and Eleanor overcome them by continually displaying their intelligence and competence. This atmospheric mystery introduces political conflicts with a charming mystery of stalwart investigators and shady criminals.
To enter to win a copy of Buried in the Country, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “country,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 7, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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