TUG OF WAR (Licensed Investigator-France-1926) – VG
Cleverly, Barbara – 6th in series
Commander Joe Sandilands is planning to take his 14-year-old niece, Dorcas, to be reunited with her father in the South of France. However, his superior has asked that he stop in Reims. A former soldier, suffering from shell shock, residing at a local sanatorium, is being claimed as the husband of a wealthy owner of a champagne vineyard. The woman’s son claims his mother murdered her husband and sealed his body behind a wall. Another complication comes from four other people who also claim the soldier and the patient’s doctor who believes the soldier may be English rather than French. With the soldier’s considerable pension and well-being involved, it is important the right identity be made.
I am a huge fan of Cleverly’s books. She really knows how to set the stage and give the reader a sense of physical, emotional and political place. Along with Charles Todd and Anne Perry, she writes about the horror of WWI and its impact on those who fought and lived it. She creates strong, smart, interesting characters, particularly Sandilands and Dorcas, but all her characters have dimension with dialogue that has a natural flow. But the core of it all is a good, solid traditional mystery that kept me turning the pages in the non-stop read. I highly recommend this book and the entire series.