This looked as though it would be a fairly gentle Christie-imitation murder-mystery – a widowed lady-detective searching for the long-lost illegitimate daughter of a titled lady on her deathbed, while investigating the murder of a university professor found dead in her local library. This seems to be the second novel in a series, but enough was explained that I didn't feel left behind.
To begin with, the setting and characterisation ambled along, and it took me a while to warm up to Kate Shackleton, the central detective. However, around the halfway mark, the plot picked up the pace and the story became more intriguing, and I found myself really wanting to find out the answers.
Once I gave them time the characters rounded out more and the story began to feel more compelling, including some surprisingly gritty aspects for what seemed on the surface an essentially respectable detective story, and some genuinely surprising twists.
Overall, a slow start, but a detective novel which comes into its own and turns into a mostly pleasant, easy-to-read but still attention-grabbing story.
Next up: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson