I have finished the 111st book for the book challenge. It was Evanly Bodies (Constable Evans Mysteries) by Rhys Bowen.
Detective Constable Evan Evans is a Welsh constable in a small village. He has been assigned to a Major Crimes Unit in a regional office under the leadership of Detective Inspector Bragg, an arrogant man. It is trying to work for this man. As soon as Evans is assigned to the unit, they have their first case. A man has been murdered at his kitchen table.
The professor was shot as he ate his breakfast. He was shot through the window. His wife was out walking the dog. The wife is distraught. He was a professor of history at the university. They cannot find any reason that he would have been killed.
Then Evans and his wife have a problem with their young friend Jamila Khan. Jamila is sixteen years old. She is being pressured by her parents and her radical brother Rashid to marry an older man back in Pakistan. Then Jamila disappears. Evans and Bronwen are concerned that Rashid may have harmed Jamila.
There is a second murder. This time it is a pizzeria owner who is killed as he sat in his shop. His wife had been hospitalized for depression at one time. She is upset. He was also shot through a window. The detectives can find no reason for his murder.
Then another man is shot. This man is unemployed. His young wife has just suffered a miscarriage. He too was shot through a window. There is not reason for his murder.
The detectives learn that each of the murdered victims had antagonized the Muslim community. Could this be the link between them?
Then Bronwen learns that Jamila is safe. She is at the battered women’s shelter. Bronwen and Evans go to visit her there. They are blind-folded to go there. But at the shelter, Evans learns that all the wives of the murdered victims have been residents of the shelter. He believes he knows the link to the murders.
Evans convinces Bragg to bring the three wives together at the police station. When they meet, they confess their plan. They formed their plan when they were in the shelter. Evans thinks they were justified but Bragg thinks they are murderers.
The decision is up to the courts.
Then Rashid is seen making a bomb at the university. Evan goes after him at a Celtic Pride activity and tries to stop him. But he goes some way off and detonates the bomb. The Khans are devastated to lose their son, but are glad to have Jamila back and will not try to marry her off. She is going to school and working in their store.
This was a good mystery. It was certainly a puzzle to figure out how the murders were being accomplished. It was not until Jamila was in the battered women’s shelter that the pieces began to fit. Evans was able to pull it all together. Bragg was an arrogant prig. Poor Evans had a terrible time working with him. This was a lovely story.