I'm so glad I stumbled across Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, a prolific British writer I'm guessing not well known here in the colonies, despite her portfolio of some 30+ books counting both these mysteries and over two dozen historical romances. I've only tried Bill Slider so far, but he's a wonderfully low-profile hero in the style of Dick Francis' leading men: guys you either want to be like (men) or want to be with (women). That our author can get that feeling so consistently over eight stories is impressive, despite plots that are entertaining and often complex enough to bewilder til right near the end.
The series is best read in order, because part of the fun is following Bill's personal life as his somewhat flawed marriage is tested (uncharacteristically for our straight arrow) by a lovely violinist that turns his head. His unattached "playboy" sidekick Atherton has much the same "trouble" and the interplay between these two men makes interesting counterpoint to the thorough police work otherwise on display. Indeed, we have come to know and like many of the precinct's supporting players beside our leading men.
I'm guessing Harrod-Eagles has either real life experience in an orchestra or a close friend in one, because her description of the lives and times of the players, and the politics and "affairs" in the symphony, are right on. (If that's "just" the result of research, I'm astounded!) Maybe best of all, some personal dilemmas for Joanna (our musician) add some real kick to the story, right up to a cliff-hanger ending that can only be resolved in the next book -- hopefully being penned as we speak!
So "Blood" seems to have it all: a mystery and plot that leads us here and there right to the end; compelling developments between Bill and Joanna that make us worry; and story that entertains on almost every page. Sounds like 5-stars to me!!