Authors: Geraldine Evans
|Blood on the Bones|
|Rafferty & Llewellyn |
Lapsed Catholic DI Joe Rafferty wasn't best pleased when he learned their latest case was at the local RC Convent, where a body had been discovered in a shallow grave in the grounds. The nuns' order was a closed, contemplative one, and access to their house and grounds, with its surrounding 8 foot high walls, far from easy. Rafferty was inclined to think this was an inside job. Prejudiced by his rigid schooling, he didn't find it as hard as his DS, Dafyd Llewellyn, to believe that nuns were capable of murder. But then, events meant that the suspects stretched to include the nuns' doctor and the priest û who turned out to be none other than Father Roberto Kelly, 'the greatest sinner in the parish'. It was, for Rafferty, a difficult case from the start, not helped by the fact that he had received a blackmail letter that very morning. Convinced that one of the nuns had killed the man, Rafferty's question: 'why', required him to dig deep into the past and to the mores of an earlier generation.
Lapsed Catholic DI Joe Rafferty wasn't best pleased when he learned their latest case was at the local RC Convent, where a body had been discovered in a shallow grave in the grounds. The nuns' order was a closed, contemplative one, and access to their house and grounds, with its surrounding 8 foot high walls, far from easy.
Rafferty was inclined to think this was an inside job. Prejudiced by his rigid schooling, he didn't find it as hard as his DS, Dafyd Llewellyn, to believe that nuns were capable of murder. But then, events meant that the suspects stretched to include the nuns' doctor and the priest — who turned out to be none other than Father Roberto Kelly, ‘the greatest sinner in the parish’.
It was, for Rafferty, a difficult case from the start, not helped by the fact that he had received a blackmail letter that very morning. Convinced that one of the nuns had killed the man, Rafferty's question: ‘why’, required him to dig deep into the past and to the mores of an earlier generation.
DI Joe Rafferty, working-class lapsed Catholic, is cursed by coming from a family who think - if he must be a copper - he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. When you add the middle-class, moralistic intellectual DS Dafyd Llewellyn to the brew the result is murder with plenty of laughs.
Dead Before Morning
Down Among the Dead Men
The Hanging Tree
Dying For You
Love Lies Bleeding
Blood on the Bones
A Thrust to the Vitals
All the Lonely People
Kith and Kill
DEAD BEFORE MORNING
‘This often comic tale sharpens the appetite for more.’
‘Terrific read. Loved Rafferty's relationship with his family.’
Rebecca Dahlke, Allmystery E Newsletter
‘Evans’ humour seriously added to my enjoyment of her book. The series has stand out central characters and clever plots’
Aunt Agatha's Bookshop, Ann Arbor
‘Well, this was a real find. Geraldine Evans knows how to make a character leap off the pages at you.’
Lizzie Hayes, Mystery Women
‘An ingeniously constructed plot, deft dialogue, well-drawn characters, and a few humorous touches, make this an enjoyably intriguing read.’
Emily Melton, Booklist
DYING FOR YOU
‘Evans brings wit and insight to this tale of looking for love in all the wrong places.’
Starred Review from Kirkus
‘It's bad enough being suspected of a double murder, worse still when it's your alter ego being pursued and it's the pits when you are the policeman in charge of supposedly catching yourself. I savoured this book and I'm keen to read the rest in the series asap.’
‘A spirited mix of detection, family drama and social commentary.’
‘Another excellent spirited mix of detection and family drama with plenty of suspects to muse over. It's another page-turner from Geraldine Evans in my opinion the English crime writing queen herself.’
R C Bridgestock
LOVE LIES BLEEDING
‘This cleverly-plotted tale has plenty of humour. It's another page-turner from Geraldine Evans and is crime writing at its best. A must for all lovers of the genre.’
‘Evans concocts a plausible story with unforeseen plot twists, believable characters, and a satisfying ending. Solid fare for fans of British procedurals.’
BLOOD ON THE BONES
‘Clever plotting and polished prose make for a cracking good British police procedural.’
‘As always with a Rafferty/Llewellyn story, Geraldine Evans keeps you guessing and provides a pleasing vein of humour throughout. This is a well-plotted tale with an unusual theme. Clever and unexpected twists make the story a delight and, as always, the ending remains a surprise until the very last page.’
‘This is another excellent entry in this marvellous series. The characters spring off the page. The dialogue is sparkling, great interplay between the two detectives, and the mystery intriguing to the end.’
‘An excellent mystery. I enjoy police procedurals and picked up this latest one by Geraldine Evans. The writing is seamless, the detective work believable. The mystery goes right to the end with lots of twists and red herrings. Wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Rafferty and his family members and would love to see more of them in the next book…’
The Casey and Catt Mystery Series
Up in Flames
A Killing Karma
Land of Dreams
A Rafferty & Llewellyn Mystery
Blood on the Bones
Copyright © 2006 and 2011 by Geraldine Evans
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Published by Geraldine Evans
All rights reserved
The moral right of the author has been asserted.
This book is a work of fiction. Except where actual historical events and characters are being described for the storyline of this novel, all situations in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to living persons is purely coincidental. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination.
Except for text references by reviewers, the reproduction of this work in any form is forbidden without permission from the publisher.
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A Rafferty & Llewellyn Mystery
As Detective Inspector Joseph Rafferty considered what his DS, Dafyd Llewellyn had said, he was filled with so many emotions, he was momentarily incapable of voicing any further words. Which was probably just as well.
But while he waited for one emotion to gain ascendancy, he surreptitiously palmed and pocketed the letter he had received in that morning's post. And even though he had read and re-read it a dozen times since its receipt, the letter's contents still made him go cold all over. He had been worrying about it all day and had yet to decide on a response.
Now, whether he wanted to or not, after the news which Llewellyn had so calmly delivered, he knew he had to put the letter out of his mind. His sergeant was still standing in front of him, presumably expecting some further response and eyeing him as if he was an exhibit in one of the museums he and his new wife, Maureen, preferred instead of having a good laugh in the pub like the rest of the team. Rafferty didn't know which of the morning's two messages was the worst: the paper one the postman had delivered or the verbal one Dafyd had just presented to him.
For the moment he was forced to put on a brave face about the latter one at least and be thankful that neither Llewellyn, nor anyone else, knew anything about what the postman had brought. So, although dismayed at Llewellyn's news, and not feeling much like it, Rafferty forced the disbelieving grin that he knew was expected, gazed at Llewellyn's serious, thinly-handsome face, and asked, with little expectation of an affirmative reply, ‘You're having a laugh. Right?’
But when Llewellyn – never one of the Essex station's jokers at the best of times – simply stood impassively, his intelligent brown gaze patient as he waited for Rafferty to face up to this latest dilemma, Rafferty added on a plaintive note: ‘Aren't you?’
Llewellyn shook his head and with the merest hint of empathy visible in his eyes, added, ‘The Mother Superior of the Carmelite Monastery of the Immaculate Conception rang the emergency services to report that one of the sisters had found a body buried in a shallow grave in their grounds. PCs Green and Smales were despatched. They've just radioed through to confirm that there is a body at the location. One that's been partially disinterred.’
He paused, clearly awaiting some further response. And when Rafferty remained silent, he added quietly, ‘It's the Roman Catholic convent out past Tiffey Reach and Northway.’
Unwillingly, as though to do so would confirm that which he would rather not have confirmed, Rafferty nodded a gloomy acknowledgement. ‘I know where it is.’
But even as he made this despondent reply, a far more likely explanation for the body's presence in the convent's grounds occurred to him and he brightened considerably. Maybe, he would, after all, be able to escape heading up an investigation into the nuns' just-discovered cadaver. The thought was a cheering one. ‘Most likely the body of one of the nuns from way-back-when, who died from natural causes,’ he told Llewellyn, unable to hide the relief his deductions had brought him. ‘Seems to me that such holy ladies, what with their vows of poverty and all, would be likely to have given their dear departed only simple interments years ago. Such burials would certainly save them plenty of the old moolah.’
Llewellyn let him down gently. 'I think not, sir. For one thing, Constable Lizzie Green said the corpse was wearing a man's watch, and one that looked expensive. And for another, from what they were able to see of the skull, she said it looked as if it had sustained damage consistent with a blow of some sort. And then, there was no coffin. The body was just laid, naked, in the earth. I don't think a group of holy and modest nuns would give one of their number such a casual burial, do you?'
Rafferty didn't. But unwilling to be so quickly deprived of his escape clause, he muttered, ‘Maybe he just genuflected too low in a bout of over-enthusiastic religious fervour and bashed his brains out on a stone floor.’ But even as he uttered the thought, he accepted that he was just clutching at straws like some desperate yokel. Llewellyn's next words confirmed this suspicion.
‘The damage was to the back of the skull, not the front, according to Constable Green and was inflicted with sufficient force for the victim to suffer severe trauma.’
He's not the only one, thought Rafferty morosely, after Llewellyn had revealed the latest details of what, as he had said, sounded horribly like a suspicious death. One moreover, that was, after all, destined to turn into his investigatory baby.
‘Lizzie Green said they've secured the scene and will await our arrival and that of the Scene of Crime team and the pathologist.’
Rafferty nodded absently, but said nothing. He was miles–years away. Back in the south London boyhood and youth that had not been improved by religion's harsh, unforgiving hand. Some of those old Catholic teachers certainly knew how to administer a caning. And he should know, having been on the receiving end more times than he could count. Strange that all that praying didn't manage to make them kinder human beings, he thought. Why, he remembered – But Llewellyn's voice dragged him back from his unpleasant memories.
The addition of the question mark to Llewellyn's address wasn't lost on Rafferty. He put his reverie behind him for long enough to go: ‘Mm?’