Dunne, Dec 2004, 23.95, 256 pp.
The Chief Constable of Greater Birchester, a man named Newcomen, assigns Detective Superintendent Harriet “The ‘Hard Detective” Martens a cold case homicide. Taken slightly aback by the hostility in her superior's voice, Harriet has no idea who Mr. Newcomen was referring to when he asked her “Who Killed the Preacher”. He expects her to solve the vicious 1967 strangling murder of “The Boy Preacher” Krishna Kumaramangalam in the Imperial Hotel, which is now demolished. Harriet concludes her new boss wants her to fail so he can claim she is not worthy of her rank and can live up to his nickname Mr. Newbroom by sweeping her away.
Newcomen claims that advances in sleuthing in the past three plus decades will prove fruitful if Harriet is capable of doing her job. While waiting for the results of DNA testing, Harriet reads a true crime book, “Who Killed the Preacher”. Next she interviews the seven prime suspects who were the only people with access to the crime scene as the Hard Detective is not going to gently allow Mr. Newbroom to sweep her away.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner