Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I don’t like jumping into an established series if I haven’t read the preceding books. Since being a NetGalley and Edelweiss member and having SO many quality titles at my disposal, I’ve come to reconsider my position on this matter.
Case in point: “Recalled to death” is the sixth novel in the Martha Gunn mystery series. This series has been on my TBR for some time so I thought I’d jump in and try to catch up to previous titles in the series later. It is a sound police procedural mystery set in Shropshire, England. I had no trouble reading this title even though it is the 6th in this acclaimed series!
Martha Gunn is a coroner, a widow, a mother of twins, and a redhead. Don’t you just love her already? She along with series regulars Detective Inspector Alex Randall, Sergeant Paul Talith, and Constable Gethin Roberts investigate the violent murder of a vagrant in the cellar of a medieval ruin.
The murder investigation cannot proceed in any productive manner due to the fact that the identity of the vagrant remains shrouded in mystery. Learning his identity becomes the paramount concern of the Shrewsbury police.
The backstory of the characters whilst they are investigating makes the reader connect with them in such a way that you want to know all there is to know about them. There is also an obvious attraction between the series protagonist Martha Gunn and DI Alex Randall. Since Randall has an abysmal family life you are rooting for them all the way. The ending is written in such a way that the reader is left wanting ‘more’.
The scene where Martha and Alex go for a walk on the Porthill footbridge is both memorable and poignant.
Very strong characterization coupled with an intriguing and well wrought mystery made “Recalled to death” an extremely enjoyable read. I look forward to backtracking and reading the first five novels in this excellent police procedural series. (It doesn’t hurt that they all have very attractive dustjackets too! )
Here are the covers of the Martha Gunn series in order from left to right:
Priscilla Masters is the author of more than twenty crime novels and has retired from her job as a respiratory nurse in the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. She has two main series characters:
Joanna Piercy is a detective inspector in Leek, Staffordshire and features in 13 mystery novels. A freewheeling, cycling enthusiast. and psychology graduate she uses her knowledge and instincts to solve cases together with her Polish body building Sergeant Mike Korpanski.
Martha Gunn is the Shrewsbury coroner, a widow with twins; who features in five novels.
Priscilla Masters also uses her nursing experience and medical family to write standalone medical mysteries.