I love the BBC adaptation of the Inspector Lynley novels by Elizabeth George. I had watched many of them as they aired on Masterpiece Mystery, but recently had decided that watching them in order was a must. With the help of eBay, as I do not have access to streaming video of any kind, this was accomplished. I was adrift when the last series ended. How could they stop when there were more novels? So back to the novels. I tried to pick up around the end of the BBC series, and so to Careless in Red.
Lynley’s wife has just been murdered and he is walking the Cornish coast trying to forget her when he discovers the body of a young man who seems to have fallen while climbing the cliffs. Although he has resigned his position with Scotland Yard, shorthanded DI Hannaford draws him into the investigation and about two-thirds into the novel, DS Havers appears to help investigate and to lure Lynley back to his position.
Lynley’s grief is the avenue into this plot, but both he and Havers play minor roles in this particular installment. As usual, George peoples her pages with rich characters: sex-crazed and slightly gone to seed Dellen; underachieving parrot-carrying Cadan; surfer-girl turned pastry attendant Madlyn; mysterious Daidre; and tough but vulnerable DI Hannaford. In fact, the mystery is solved many pages before the novel ends and George insteads wraps up the subplots surrounding her various characters.