Doyle and Acton are back! Anne Cleeland's latest mystery, Murder in All Honour, is not a jumping off point for the series. Her stories are as interconnected as Louise Penny's, and readers need to have read earlier ones to keep the characters straight, and to pick up the pieces of the plot. But, fans of the series will be satisfied as the storyline continues.
Detective Sergeant Kathleen Doyle is pregnant, and she doesn't need the worry of the latest cases to catch the attention of tabloids. Although Acton does his best to keep the stories under wraps, pregnant women have been murdered, and their babies have been taken. How does this connect with the death of a nun? Because Doyle is always on high alert when her husband is involved in a case, she asks a few questions, tracks down some witnesses, and heads off in the wrong direction.
Lord Michael Acton, also Detective Chief Inspector Acton, is juggling the investigation into corruption at the highest level at the Met, along with the murders he's trying to keep secret, and family problems. And, of course, the man who is obsessed with his wife, Doyle, tries to keep secrets from her. Finally, even Doyle has to admit some secrets should be kept. Unfortunately, her "gift" of knowing when others lie make it hard for her to butt out of Acton's business.
Although the current case seems somewhat convoluted in this book, the characters are as delightful as ever. Murder in All Honour is set at Christmastime, and part of the enjoyment comes from Doyle's uncertainty as to appropriate gifts. It's a treat to catch up with Acton and Doyle again, their butler, Reynolds, Williams, and even the criminal, Savoie. Cleeland continues to reveal bits and pieces of Lord Acton's family history. More than the criminal investigations, the characters bring readers back to Cleeland's novels. Her characters are clever, sometimes amusing, but always fascinating.
Anne Cleeland's website is www.annecleeland.com
Murder in All Honour by Anne Cleeland. Artemis Press. 2017. ISBN 9781543168624 (paperback), 256p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The author sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.