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Forsythe, Malcolm - 'The Book Lady' (Unabridged Audiobook) read by Michael Wade
Audio Cassette (1993) Publisher: Magna Story Sound ISBN: 1859035213

THE BOOK LADY is the third in a currently seven book series featuring Chief Inspector Millson and Detective Sergeant Scobie of Essex CID and is set near Colchester.

The 'book lady' is Janet West, one of a pair of librarians who take the mobile library van around several Essex villages. Janet not only provides books for house bound readers but she also reads to them and if they pay, she will perform extra, more intimate, services.

Early one morning, Janet's body is discovered by a local fisherman on a riverbank not far from a shipyard. The police discover Janet's moneymaking scheme and interview all her clients except one; the father of the owner of the shipyard who has suddenly gone away and cannot be traced. The shipyard has it's own problems including sabotage followed by a death on the premises.

Likeable single parent Millson has to find the connection between the two deaths and locate the missing man and though Scobie begins to fall for the pretty shipyard owner, Nicola, it's his on-off estate agent girlfriend who ultimately provides the motive for the murders.

This was a very pleasant listen with a nicely vexing plot. As there are multiple points of view the listener is somewhat ahead of the police by the end but all the strands were tied up neatly. As it's quite short, the book is mostly about the plot but I enjoyed meeting these characters and hope to read or listen to more of their adventures.

Karen Meek, England
June 2005

Karen blogs at
Euro Crime.

last updated 23/03/2008 20:39