considering some of the truly awful mysteries i have suffered at least partially through, i cannot understand why harrod-eagles' series isn't better known and why it goes out of print with such blinding speed.
this entry in the series is as impressively well written as any reader could wish--the plot is first rate; the writing is wonderful (and i love the puns--only people who can't make puns sneer at them); the dialogue is natural; the characters are individual and interesting; the relationships, situations and motives are realistic; there's humor.
as with many series, watching the growth of the main characters is part of the pleasure, so, while this installment can be read by itself, its even better if you have read the previous books.
harrod-eagles is also the author of another good series, an historical that follows one fictional family throught english history from the 15th century into othe 20th (and probably into this one soon). aside from the level of excellence in the writing, it would be hard to identiry the writer of each as the same woman. harrod-eagles has the same sort of facility as the professional singers who can do grand opera one night and creditable jazz the next.
if you like your mysteries tricky, entertaining and perceptive, this book, and the rest of the series, is for you.