If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

September Interviews

9/2 Dianne Freeman, A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder

9/9 Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

9/16 Marilyn Levinson, writing as Allison Brook, Checked Out for Murder

9/23 Rhys Bowen, The Last Mrs. Summers

9/30 Sherry Harris, From Beer To Eternity

September Guest Bloggers

9/19 Judy Alter

WWK Weekend Bloggers

9/5 V. M. Burns

9/12 Jennifer J. Chow

9/26 Kait Carson


Keenan Powell recently signed with agent Amy Collins of Talcott Notch. Congratulations, Keenan!

KM Rockwood's "Secrets To The Grave" will appear in the new SinC Chesapeake Chapter's new anthology Invitation To Murder, which will be released by Wildside Press on 10/6.

Congratulations to our two Silver Falchion Finalists Connie Berry and Debra Goldstein!

Paula Gail Benson's "Cosway's Confidence" placed second and Debra Goldstein's "Wabbit's Carat" received Honorable Mention in the Bethlehem Writers Roundtable 2020 short story contest. Congratulations, Paula and Debra!

Susan Van Kirk's Three May Keep A Secret has been republished by Harlequinn's Worldwide Mystery. The WWK interview about the book can be accessed here. We're so glad another publisher picked up this series.

KM Rockwood's "Burning Desire," and Paula Gail Benson's "Living One's Own Truth," have been published in the anthology Heartbreaks & Half-truths. Congratulations to all of the WWK writers.

Please join Margaret S. Hamilton's Kings River Life podcast of her short story "Busted at the Book Sale" here. Congratulations, Margaret!

Look Margaret S. Hamilton's short stories in the new Mid-Century Murder by Darkhouse Books. Margaret's story is titled "4BR/3.5BA Contemporary."

Grace Topping's second novel in Laura Bishop staging series, Staging Wars, was released by Henery Press on April 28th. Look for the interview here from April 29th.

Annette Dashofy's 10th Zoe Chambers mystery, Til Death, will be released on June 16th. Look for the interview here on June 17.


Thursday, April 12, 2018


I just finished the latest Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers mystery by Elizabeth George, the 690 page The Punishment She Deserves. Although it took days, it lived up to my expectations of keeping me always interested until the very end.

In this book, the cozy bucolic town of Ludlow is stunned when one of its most revered and respected citizens , deacon Ian Druitt, is accused of child molestation by an anonymous phone call. The local PCSO is told by his chief officer to lock Druit up in the Ludlow’s rarely used police station. While there the deacon’s body is found hanging from a doorknob in the room he’d been closed in. It was determined it was a suicide.
Druitt’s father, a wealthy man with connections, calls on a member of parliament he knows to contact the head of New Scotland Yard and have him send someone to investigate what happened otherwise he is going to sue for a large amount of money. DCS Isabelle Ardery is assigned to the job with detective sergeant Barbara Havers to go to the small English town of Ludlow and find out what happened. Ardery is not happy to have Barbara Havers because Barbara tends to go her own way.

 During the investigation they talk with various people including the local PCSO, Gary Ruddock, the only police officer in this tiny town, who brought him in and then left him locked up to take care of drunken college students creating  havoc in the local pubs. Ruddock was the one who later found Ian Druitt dead.
During the investigation DCS Ardery can’t find any evidence that would make anyone think it was anything but suicide, however Sergeant Barbara Havers disagrees and thinks there’s a good chance he was murdered, but she can’t convince Guv Ardery it’s anything other than suicide.
DCS Ardery, becomes an interesting character throughout because she’s an alcoholic who can’t live without her vodka and other drinks. She tries to hide it from Havers, but is not successful and ends the investigation even though Barbara believes she’s not looking at things correctly, but her boss insists they go back to London.

When they return to London, DCI Lynley talks to Barbara and Isabelle. He knows Isabelle has a drinking problem and lectures her which she doesn’t like. She assigns Barbara to write up a report on their investigation, and then refuses to send it to the commissioner because Barbara had included some of her suspicions of the death. So DCI Lynley and Sergeant Havers are sent back to Ludlow and the area to further investigate.

One of the things that kept me, and I’m sure other readers, too, interested was the other characters who are brought in with their own thoughts, backgrounds they keep hidden and worries. There is the young girl Dena – or Ding as she’s known, who has an obsession I won’t go into here, until she learns her mother has been lying to her all her life.

Then there’s Missa, who also has a secret she’s been hiding and previously had been talking to Deacon Ian Druitt about it. When her last name shows up on his cell phone, Lynley and Havers end up interviewing her grandmother, who had the same last name, before they learn it was Missa he’d been talking to. And we’re introduced to Missa’s messed up family to a certain extent, and her long-time boyfriend Justin.
Then there is the head of the local police department, who had the local PCSO Gary keeping his eye on her college son, Finnegan. Finn, his other name, was living in the same house as Ding, another girl, and another boy, Brutus..  Her husband found out what she was doing and disagreed that she should be watching 
over their son like that.

All in all the mystery – although I figured it out earlier – was interesting because of all the different characters whose stories were interesting in and of itself all the way through.
On the back cover were six positive reviews. I’m including this one because I so agree with it.
The Washington Post, wrote “. . . George’s ability to continually enhance the portraits of Lynley, Havers, and other recurring characters while generating fully fleshed new ones for each novel is nothing less than superlative, and her atmospheric prose, complete with lovely and detailed descriptions of her setting, combines to add literary gravitas to her work . . . A worthy addition to her portfolio and one that simultaneously disturbs and satisfies.”

I have read and own all twenty of Elizabeth George’s Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Barbara Havers mysteries. After reading this book I think I’ll go back and start at the very first one all over again.

Have you read any of Elizabeth George’s Lynley and Havers mysteries?


Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Barbara Havers is my favorite character. I've enjoyed watching her character arc over the series.

Jim Jackson said...

in 2005 I read my one and only Elizabeth George, With No One As Witness. I enjoyed it, but obviously not enough to read more. Perhaps my loss.

Gloria Alden said...

Margaret, she's mine, too, because she doesn't always obey the laws or her supervisor. In this book Tomas Lynley backs her completely.

Jim, that was her 13th book. It's been so long since I read it, I don't remember the plot now.

Sylvia A. Nash said...

Talk about "head in the sand." I watched this series on TV. I loved it. I confess. I didn't know it was in book form. Guess what I'm going to be looking for! Thanks for enlightening me, Gloria!

KM Rockwood said...

I'm afraid I find 690 page books intimidating! Perhaps I'll give it a try at some point, but right now, I have too many shorter books I know I'll enjoy on my TBR list.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gloria, well you certainly gave the writer your good reviews! My favorite thing is at the top of your blog it looks like it says: My favorite Author - Gloria Alden. MINE TOO! LOL Laura

Warren Bull said...

I will have to check this out.

Shari Randall said...

I've read a couple because I think she's a fantastic author. But, sadly, they are so very long and that's a time commitment I just can't do lately. Maybe someday.
And Barbara Havers - love her!

Gloria Alden said...

Sylvia, I didn't know it was a series on TV, but then I rarely watch TV.

KM, not all her books are that long. I read most of it downstairs after the barn chores were done and the dishes were washed. Usually, I put my downstairs book down when I head up to bed because I have another book upstairs I'm reading, but with this one I took it up to read in my bed, too. It took me about a week to finish it.

Laura, that made me smile. I was told by the one who started this blog that I need to put my name at the top which I rarely do.

Warren, I think you'll enjoy her books especially this one.

Shari, I mostly read in the evenings and I don't watch TV, or at least very rarely. With this one I ended up taking it up to bed with me and read up there, too. Once I get hooked on a book, I hate to put it down so sometimes I read past midnight like I did with Jim Jackson's latest book.

Kait said...

I read Lynley religiously in the beginning, but I seem to have fallen away. I think it's because her books are so long and because I kept catching Americanisms in the Britishisms. At first, I was puzzled because I thought George was a Brit, then I thought it was cute because there are dictionaries, later, I just decided it to not let it bother me, but to only read the books when I had the time, given the length, instead of carrying on in my normal OCD serial way of reading a series! I do enjoy them from time to time.

This was a lovely review and I may pick up this book to catch up with Barbara whom I've developed a fondness for as well.