A few weeks ago in Aldeburgh Bookshop I came across two books, both of which I loved. The first is Vera Morris’s Some Particular Evil (for news about the second you will have to wait a bit longer!).
Set on the Suffolk Coast in 1970, teacher Laurel Bowman takes a new job as Senior Mistress at a small boarding school in Dunwich. She is moving to Dunwich to escape from her past in Felixstowe where her sister had been murdered and her engagement had broken up.
But when she arrives at the new school, she quickly discovers that the headmaster’s wife had also been murdered the previous year, and the murderer never found. Even worse, newly promoted DI Frank Diamond, who had been the investigating officer on her sister’s murder, has been appointed to the case. Laurel’s curiosity gets the better of her and she starts to ask questions – then discovers the earlier mysterious disappearance of a girl at the school.
Vera Morris puts the isolated setting of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast to good use in this gripping story – the cliffs, the beach, the ruined monastery – and there are plenty of authentic 1970s period references. We’re taken back to an earlier time, before mobile phones and the internet, when information was hard to come by and sending for help meant getting someone to run a mile with a message. Even landline phones were rare, and only available in a few offices at the school.
This is a not a new book – in fact it is the first of a series – but isn’t widely known, although I think it should be. It’s a good read and I’m sure will be popular with anyone who knows the Suffolk coast and can remember the 1970s, which obviously includes me!
So the question is, why is this called the Anglian Detective Agency series? Well, that is a bit of a spoiler for the ending, so I’m not going to tell you, but suffice to say there are four more books in the series so far, all featuring Bowman and Diamond.
All (except Ship of Death) available now to order from Bittern Books. These books will sell well in tourist locations along the Suffolk coast and to local buyers throughout Suffolk (and maybe even Norfolk!).
The Anglian Detective Agency Series, by Vera Morris
- Some Particular Evil, ISBN 9781786150615
- The Temptation, ISBN 9781786150615
- The Loophole, ISBN 9781786156617
- The Ship of Death, ISBN 9781786159939
- The Great Shroud, ISBN 9781472283665
All RRP £10.99