Dunne, June 2003, 24.95, 352 pp.
Now that BSE has subsided, TB is decimating the herds of cows all across England, and rightly or wrongly, the farmers believe that badgers are the carriers of the disease. On Recording Day, Deirdre Watson expects her time on Dunsworthy Farm to be boring as usual. However, she revises her opinion and becomes horrified when the owner of the property, Gordon Hillcock, finds the body of his herdsman, Sean O'Farrell in his barn, a homicide victim.
The lead detective on the case is Detective Sergeant Den Cooper who absolutely hates Gordon and hopes the Devon dairy farmer is the guilty party. Gordon is now seeing Lilah Beardon, the woman Den loves and had been seriously involved with for the past three years. His investigation proves to Den, his co-workers and his superior that Gordon is the most likely culprit but they have to work overtime and work around local prejudice to find evidence that will back up their hunch.
A DEATH TO RECORD is a fascinating British police procedural that focuses as much on interpersonal relationships as it does on the actual investigation. Den is a fine person who doesn't let his personal feelings for his ex-girlfriend get in the way of his doing his job to the best of his ability. The victim was a vile man who tortured animals and had a lot of enemies, which makes for a lot of suspects. The person who actually did the deed will be hard to find but Den will not rest until he does.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner