Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths

 
First Line: Is it possible to forget that you've committed a murder?
 
When a Member of Parliament dies at his school reunion, it quickly becomes apparent that he did not die of an accidental drug overdose. Newly promoted and moved to London, Detective Inspector Harbinder Kaur is put in charge of the investigation and makes the acquaintance of the rest of "The Group". Twenty-one years ago, The Group was inseparable. Now they've grown apart and gone their quite exceptional separate ways. Two Members of Parliament. An award-winning actress. A famous rock star. A police officer. And a teacher living in Italy.

The death of one of their group dredges up memories of the death of another schoolmate twenty-one years ago. Kaur deploys her troops and begins gathering facts. Could the murder be linked to business lunches in a restaurant at Bleeding Heart Yard? Or could it have something to do with that young man's death over twenty years ago? That's what Kaur and her team must find out-- and fast-- because there's been another death.

~

I enjoy Elly Griffiths' writing so much that I'm beginning to think that her grocery lists should make the bestseller list, too. Many writers can "do" the mystery and the setting, but extremely few can combine those two elements with a finely crafted and multi-layered cast of characters. When you pick up an Elly Griffiths novel, it's a given that you're going to love, not just the main character(s), but the secondary ones as well. Bleeding Heart Yard is no exception.

Although Griffiths never intended for the lesbian Sikh police officer to be a recurring character, I am thrilled that this is now the third book in which Harbinder Kaur has appeared. In Bleeding Heart Yard, she's been promoted and is now living in London with two roommates, a teacher and an architect. I enjoyed seeing how she works with her team-- Cassie, who must stay out of the investigation because she's a member of the group of school friends linked to the dead man; the empathetic Kim who has an encyclopedic knowledge of London restaurants; the not-so-bright Tory; and the manspreading Jake. The book is told from various points of view, but Harbinder's is the best. Her thoughts and observations illuminate her character, and they're often quite humorous. Before I forget, a trio of characters from The Postscript Murders makes an appearance here, and it gives me hope that we may see them again. (Remember what I said about Griffiths' genius for characterization?)

Okay, enough about the characters. What about the mystery? Glory hallelujah-- I never saw the ending coming, and that's a rare occurrence for me. I love it when that happens, especially when I stop, think back, and can see where all the clues were planted. Clues that I ignored because I was enjoying the characters and the story so much.

Do you have series burnout and just don't want to start at book one (The Stranger Diaries)? Bleeding Heart Yard works well as a standalone, so confusion should not be a problem. However, don't be surprised if you find yourself looking for the other two books, and if you're new to Elly Griffiths (I almost envy you), she also writes the splendid Dr. Ruth Galloway series. Don't miss Ruth or Harbinder!

Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths
eISBN:  9780063289307
Mariner Books © 2022
eBook, 352 pages
 
Police Procedural, #3 Harbinder Kaur mystery
Rating: A+
Source: Purchased from Amazon.

12 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read this as I really liked the first two books in this series. Especially pleased that several people from The Postscript Murders appear again, loved them all in that. Happy Thanksgiving, Cathy!

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    1. Thanks, Cath! I'm really liking where this series is going, so I hope she continues with it.

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  2. That first line is enough to make you want to keep reading. Sounds like a good one!

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    1. Yes-- that first line is definitely an attention grabber!

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  3. Elly Griffiths certainly has the magic touch, doesn't she, Cathy. I don't think I've ever read anything by her that disappointed me. It's so hard for authors to keep up that quality, but she does.

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    1. And she just seems to get better with each book. She says she's hoping to come to the US next year, AND that she really wants to visit The Poisoned Pen. Yippee!

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  4. I am also fond of the Brighton novels. The setting of 1950s and 1960s and the tie in with magic is really attractive.
    Your kitchen Reno looks great. We are getting our kitchen done next year, going to update it for the first time since 1978!

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    1. Yes, the Brighton series is a favorite with many readers. I'm going to hang my head in shame because I'm such a Griffiths fangirl, but I haven't been able to get into that one. I may have to give it a third try because I hate to feel as though I'm missing out.

      I hope your reno goes as well as ours did. We hated the disruption, but we both knew the final result would be more than worth it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Chris!

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  5. I keep meaning to start this series, since I enjoy Ruth Galloway so much. This review gives me incentive to give the 1st book a higher priority, perhaps on my library run this weekend.

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    1. I hope you manage to get your hands on a copy, FR!

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  6. I think this is a good book to start the new year reading. (sigh, oh the lists everywhere)

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  7. She does write some amazing characters! They're the reason I keep going back to her books. :)

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