I was delighted when I found out via twitter that the Lloyd and Hill series by Jill McGown had been re-released for kindle as I’d read a few which the library had in stock in the early nineties and really enjoyed them. A Perfect Match is the first in this series and at the time of writing this post is on offer at the bargain price of a mere 59p.
When Chris turns up at Helen and Donald Mitchell’s house he is clearly in a state but neither of the Mitchell’s are able to understand much of what he is saying except the fatal line ‘I didn’t mean to’ Before they can find out what he didn’t mean to do the police knock on the front door and Chris makes a rapid exit through the back door. It turns out there has been a murder and Inspector Lloyd (a man whose first name is a mystery in a parallel to the great detective Morse) and Judy Hill start questioning the locals in the small town.
This has an old-fashioned feel maybe because it was first published way back in 1983, this isn’t full of violence and politics, rather there is a mystery to be solved and the police go about their business in a surprisingly unhurried way putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Jill McGown throws in a few red-herrings into the mix and the mystery unfolds at a steady pace.
This is a fairly short book at less than two hundred pages but I neither felt cheated although in contrast to more modern novels of this genre, there was just one main storyline and a bit of background about the Lloyd and Hill. The detectives work pretty much a partnership with little input from the wider team. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say it is clear that we will find out more about both of them later in the series but pleasingly the author hasn’t felt the need to overload us with details in this novel, leaving the bulk of the story telling directly related to the mystery.
So to the mystery, it was complex enough to keep me wondering, but not outlandish and all the clues were there to be spotted by the eagle-eyed. The author did have a little bit of bizarre habit of giving us some input from the surrounding nature, I have to state at this point that I’m not entirely sure this device worked.
I don’t think this is one of the best of this series (from what I remember) but it was certainly 59p well spent. I started reading it while I was waiting for an appointment and was without my current physical book, I rarely start one book before finishing another but after a couple of pages I was sufficiently hooked to read to the end before returning to my original read, which I would say is a fair endorsement of the quality. As a result I already have the second in the series, Redemption ready to read.