The night before Claire Barclay’s tour group arrives in England, she is kept awake by her loud partying neighbours, Patrick and Rita. One of their party guests is mystery writer Oliver Nott who turns up in the garden with a knife through his chest. Quite dead.
In Crime in Cornwall, the second in a series by Emma Dakin (also known as Marion Crook of Gibsons), tour guide Claire picks up a small group of visiting murder mystery readers at the airport to guide them around the British countryside where they will see settings made famous by mystery book writers.
Claire is dragged unwillingly into her neighbours’ murder investigation, though she is not unhappy that detective Mark Evans, introduced in the first book of the series, Hazards in Hampshire, is on the job.
For fans of British “cozy” mysteries Crime in Cornwall has all the elements: a body discovered by page three, suspicion falling on various members of Claire’s tour group and a handsome investigating detective.
The author takes us on an armchair tour of Cornwall in loving detail. It’s the mysterious outlying English county that inspired writer Daphne du Maurier, among others, with its smuggler caves, pub lunches of pork and leek sausages followed by a pint of ale, and its quaint characters who carve wooden birds and relay the local gossip. Claire and her faithful dog Gulliver tramp the scenic trails in an effort to assist the detective in his investigation.
Marion Crook whose pen name for these mysteries is Emma Dakin (emmadakin.com) will be giving an online book launch through the Gibsons Public Library on Dec. 5.
(See: https://gibsons.bc.libraries.coop/event/crimeincornwall/). Though Crime in Cornwall is published by Camel Press in Seattle, the book’s cover is illustrated by a Roberts Creek artist, Teresa Hanson. It is available at Talewind Books in Sechelt.