Martin Edwards, The Coffin Trail Reviews

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“The Coffin Trail ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 13/08/2004

The Coffin Trail
Martin Edwards
Poisoned Pen, Oct 2004, $24.95, 296 pp.
ISBN: 1590581296

Miranda persuades her lover, Oxford historian and TV host Daniel Kind, to leave the school that she insists is stifling him and she would quit her detestable job so that they can relocate and move in together. She further convinces Daniel to buy notorious Tarn Cottage in a relatively isolated Lake District Valley. Daniel is familiar with Tarn Cottage, once home to Asperger's syndrome sufferer Barrie Gilpin, whom he knew.

Barrie was suspected by the police, led by Daniel's father, of a violent ritual murder, but before he was questioned he fell to his death. Daniel has solved mysteries on his TV show using Holmesian logic and always felt that Barrie was innocent. Additionally, Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett has reopened this cold case because of a recent anonymous tip. Although Hannah and her team do not want Daniel interfering, he also makes inquiries as he plans to prove Barrie was innocent. The two adjoining investigations upset several residents of Brackdale, who want their dirty laundry left hidden from view.

Although coincidence is over-killed to bring the son and the prot g into competition, readers will appreciate this fine amateur sleuth, police procurable rivalry in which the who-done-it is cleverly devised. The storyline is fun to follow as Daniel and Hannah employ similar methods as both learned from his dad. They also share in common the fear that their teacher bungled this case when he bet on Barrie exclusively. Miranda adds just the right additional touch so that the audience obtains a strong mystery that tracks THE COFFIN TRAIL, the path the dead are taken on to leave the isolated valley for burial.

Harriet Klausner

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