The Final Round
by Bernard O'Keeffe
4/5 Detective Inspector Garibaldi "as in the great Italian nationalist. And the biscuit" is country music loving, well read and the only officer in the Metropolitan Police who can't drive a car. He's the filling in the sandwich between DCI Karen Deighton, the boss, and nice but dim DS Milly Gardner. The characterisations and the relationships are a bit heavy handed, it would have been preferable for them to emerge rather than be spelt out and it's obvious they are going to get honed as the series goes on. As it is it reads a bit like a parody on Morse (especially with the Oxford connected crime) but that sells it well short!
Six former Balfour College, Oxford friends get together for an annual charity quiz. The twenty-fifth anniversary quiz has an unexpected final round which accuses the each of the six of a plausible sin. Then one of the six meets his maker in a particularly gruesome manner. The six turn out to be fairly unlikeable so Bernard O'Keefe does well to make it matter who committed the crime and why!
The story is a good one, the pacing is excellent and it kept me reading until the book was finished. I'd recommend this and the next installment is going to be even better.