MYSTERY

The Funeral Owl: A Philip Dryden Mystery

Crème de la Crime: Severn House. Dec. 2013. 312p. ISBN 9781780290492. $28.95. M
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Local UK newspaper editor Philip Dryden could go years without having a news week like this one. It opens with an epic dust storm wreaking havoc in the Fens region and continues with a string of dangerous metal robberies that threaten train lines and wind turbines. A startlingly gruesome murder scene in a churchyard stirs up the possibilities of a Chinese gang war in the next town over. Through it all, Dryden attempts to connect any dots and stay vigilant with his stories. His interactions with a disturbed Korean War vet haunt him, though, as do his interviews with the blind sexton and his gnarly grandson. But when a deadly—and highly flammable—moonshine operation is discovered, Dryden knows he's sitting on the story of a lifetime.
VERDICT Dagger Award-winning Kelly's seventh series entry (after Nightrise) showcases his trademark multiple plotlines to perfection. Newcomers to the series will be delighted by this discovery.

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