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Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.
Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
I have never read Charlie Cochrane before. However, I was in the mood for a good ol’ mystery so when I saw this on Netgalley I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I mean, murder on a school in a small English village? Sounds intriguing…
Dead body count: 2
Number of suspects: few
Number of detectives: 2
Number of love interests: 1
Number of internal thoughts not related to the murder: quite a few
Number of smart dogs: 1
Turns out this was quite an enjoyable mystery!! Ms. Cochrane presented a classic whodunit mystery by having multiple characters that could be suspects and they all had their little secrets related to the victims. Due to all the lies, the mystery-solving moved a bit slowly – it was like the police took one step forward (when they discovered the lies) but then two steps back when they confronted the suspects. Having said that, it was quite believable too. I mean, not everything could be solved within hours like in crime procedural TV shows, right? I had quite fun myself trying to figure out who the murderer was!! By the way, I did guess it right, probably few a pages before Inspector Robin did … so not too shabby, huh?
The story itself was written from both Robin and Adam’s perspectives. I did feel that Robin was the more fleshed-out character than Adam, though. Being a victim of school bullying back when he was a student at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s, it brought uneasiness to him when he returned to the ‘scene of the crime’. I found that an interesting back story. In addition, I thought Robin’s internal thoughts regarding Adam and how he tried to remind himself not to fraternize with the witness was amusing. Not always successful but fun to read nonetheless.
Meanwhile Adam, for me, was a bit too … bland. He didn’t stand out compared to Robin and his background. Adam was a nice love interest – but heck, even his dog, Campbell, ended up stealing the show, especially on an important moment.
To be perfectly honest, I found myself enjoying Robin’s younger detective sergeant, Anderson, more than I did Adam. Anderson was fun and had a great sense of humor and he seemed to enjoy bantering with his boss. Robin and Anderson’s scenes were able to make me smile a lot. Cheeky little bugger that Anderson! *laugh*.
All in all, it is quite recommended for mystery fans and those who don’t mind that the romance is not in the spotlight – because The Best Corpse for the Job is a mystery first and romance second, despite the back and forth flirting from Robin and Adam.