by Jo A. Hiestand
GENRE: British mystery
Ex-police detective Michael McLaren is determined to have a peaceful holiday after the fiasco of his first attempt at Windermere, so he stops at a bed-and-breakfast in Moorton, a village in Cumbria. But mystery and murder seek him out, and he soon succumbs to the B&B owner’s plea to investigate the year-old death of her daughter’s fiancé, a young musician.
The Lake District parish seems peaceful, but a rival musician’s jealousy and a business partner’s anger boil beneath the façade. Mix that with ‘Barmy Barry’s’ sightings of fairy lights at the castle, references to Uther Pendragon's return and the secrets in the woods, and McLaren finds his sanity shaky.
When the vicar is attacked and Barry disappears, McLaren sets a trap for the killer. But as it plays out, his concern shifts from the potential capture to praying he and his friend can escape with their lives.
Barry looked up, apparently aware of McLaren for the first time, and called, “If Vicar takes you into the church, stay away from the soul in the coffin.”
McLaren turned around, clearly surprised. “Pardon?”
“The soul,” Barry reiterated while chewing, “It lives by the coffin near the north aisle. It’s a big coffin.” He turned to face Church Lane, holding out his arms and gazing at the sky. Wriggling his left arm, he said, “It’s on the north aisle.”
“Have you seen the soul, Barry?”
“Lots of times. Morning, noon and night. He comes out more at night. He doesn’t like to be seen. He told me.”
“He must get cramped, lying in that tomb.”
“He comes out when the fairies fly around with their lights, so he can see. Church is awful dark at night. He don’t frighten me, but there’s others do.”
Arrested Flight is a Michael McLaren mystery, and I've got to hand it to the author. I don't live in Britain, but when reading Arrested Flight I felt as though I were. The author has a marvelous talent for dropping the reader into the setting and making the reader feel like he/she is a part of the action. I love McLaren's character too. He's an ex-cop, tough yet upright and moral and as vulnerable as the rest of us. I liked his compassion for the innocent, and his brilliant strategy as he went after the criminals. Hiestand wove a cunning plot for this mystery. All the clues were there, but I didn't figure out what was going on until McLaren did. If you like British mysteries I highly recommend this one to you. 5 stars.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A month-long trip to England during her college years introduced Jo to the joys of Things British. Since then, she has been lured back nearly a dozen times, and lived there during her professional folksinging stint. This intimate knowledge of Britain forms the backbone of both the Taylor & Graham mysteries and the McLaren mystery series.
Jo’s insistence for accuracyfrom police methods and location layout to the general “feel” of the areahas driven her innumerable times to Derbyshire for research. These explorations and conferences with police friends provide the detail filling the books.
In 1999 Jo returned to Webster University to major in English. She graduated in 2001 with a BA degree and departmental honors.
Her cat, Tennyson, shares her St. Louis home.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Jo A. Hiestand will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.