Cambridge Green by Siobhan Carew – The second novel in the much-loved Cambridge Crime series.
When DCI Anne Fountain phones newly appointed Detective Inspector Harry Meredith with news of a murder, he is surprised to learn that his first case will take him back to the Cambridge college he graduated from. A body has been found in the Fellow’s Garden of St Benedict’s College. Harry and his Detective Sergeant, Ellen Brookes, quickly realise that there is little appetite for helping them among some members of the college. The bursar, Mr Darnton, decrees that no one should speak to the police on college property. Happily for the investigation, Harry and Ellen are willing to run Mr Darnton’s gauntlet.
They make a surprising discovery about the murdered man, who was a visiting scholar to the college, and this takes them out of Cambridge, into the Fens, where they uncover a disturbing crime which shocks them profoundly.
Despite being ‘banned’ from the college, Harry’s investigation takes him there again and again, and he begins to rely on some of the staff to help him tease out the complicated route that led to Dr Chen’s murder. Janis, in the Senior Tutor’s Office, catches their interest early on; Patrick, the head gardener, whom Harry befriended when he was a student, is a steady source of information and good sense, with a little nonsense thrown in for good measure. The story is peppered with feisty and funny characters, who help and hinder the investigation. No one, however, can avert the tragic conclusion.
Reviews for Cambridge Green
“This is a murder mystery, a whodunnit, and police procedural rolled into one. The author draws on her knowledge of Cambridge to provide detailed descriptions of the fusty halls and cloisters of the colleges and the strange and rarefied world of the people who inhabit them.
It is a slow burn story, following a murder on college grounds, as Detective Inspector Harry Meredith and Detective Sergeant Ellen Brookes face a stonewall of obstruction and a cast of shifty individuals.
Siobhán Carew draws the reader into the private lives of the leading characters and lets us feel their doubts, fears and pain. Then comes a shocking discovery as the connection with human trafficking is uncovered. Finally a tragic suicide polarizes the college staff and leads to the murder culprit whom nobody suspected. I look forward to the author’s next creation.” – Bob Goddard – Reviewed on Amazon
I am not drawn to murder mysteries but tried this as the setting is local to me, and I wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoyed the walks along familiar streets and the descriptions of the ‘town versus gown’ tensions. The city and the colleges were well depicted and Carew introduces us to a cast of contrasting characters – from the stoical bachelor gardener Patrick to the foul, barely competent, power-wielding bursar propped up by the diplomatic and efficient Miss Field. I enjoyed the unfolding of the tale and was shocked by the huge shift in the story out in the middle of the Fens at the potato packing plant. The characters are engaging, the detail transporting and evocative. A great read and a real page-turner. And I’m looking forward to reading Cambridge Rose next.” – Jane Wilson-Howarth – Five star review on Amazon