Friday, June 05, 2009

The Blood Pit by Kate Ellis

Title: The Blood Pit
Author: Kate Ellis
ISBN: 9780749908812, Piatkus Books, 2008
Genre: Police Procedural, #12 DI Wesley Peterson mystery series
Rating: A

First Line: The small figure lay on the sand gulping in salty, seaweed-scented air as the twisted face descended slowly, closer and closer.

Bodies completely drained of blood are showing up on Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson's patch, and the only thing that links them together is the way in which they were killed. Wesley's archaeologist friend, Neil Watson, is working at a nearby medieval abbey and he begins getting disturbing anonymous letters. Is there a connection between Wesley's investigation and Neil's letters?

Who says you can't learn anything by reading mysteries? In this twelfth book in the series, Ellis filled me in on seyney houses as a part of the life of medieval monasteries. (Monks were periodically bled to prevent the "humors" in the body from becoming out of balance.) I remember the mention of these places in various books I've read, and Ellis filled in the details.

The mystery in The Blood Pit was circuitous and puzzling. Although I knew about halfway through whom the murderer was, I couldn't figure out why. The letters that Neil Watson received really upped the suspense factor, and I enjoyed his getting a beefier role in this book.

The characters in this series of mysteries have become almost as familiar as family to me, and this time around, Ellis shakes up the cast a bit. Between the mystery, the history and the characters, I always look forward to the latest Kate Ellis novel!


  1. That's something I love about series: Familiar characters that seem like friends. When this is done well (people grow and change, a few new people brought in), it really keeps me hooked on series.

  2. The opening line reminds me of a book I read a long, long time ago that I think was a P.D. James. Now I'm going to have to find it. Glad you are reading some A books this week.

  3. No 11? - Oh, then I´m only 10 books behind you :)
    But I will get there.

  4. Never heard of this author, but will be sure to check her out. Thanks!

  5. I love the Wesley Peterson mysteries. I've only read the first eight, though. Last time I checked my library didn't have any more, but that must have been a couple of years ago. My son's big on history, and he really enjoyed these too. I'm going to have to get cracking and see if I can catch-up. This latest sounds good!

  6. Oh I always seem to learn something when reading a mystery. Especially cozy mysteries! I haven't heard of this series before but the setting and the case sounds interesting.

  7. It's unfortunate, but the most recent books are not held in most U.S. libraries. They were not published here.

    But, Cathy's right. The Wesley Peterson mysteries are terrific.

  8. Beth--I really enjoy writers who don't treat their cast of characters as sacrosanct.

    Margot--These A books make a nice change. B's are good, but A's are so much better!

    Dorte--I think there's a #12 out that neither one of us has gotten to yet. :)

    Jenny--You're welcome!

    Belle--I'm glad you enjoy this series...and look! I reviewed one that isn't a Western! LOL

    Jen--They are good. Characters that become friends, and lots of lovely history to learn.

    Lesa--Yes...I have to get my Ellis mysteries from Book Depository, darn it!


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