MURDER IN THE WORST DEGREE by F.M. Meredith
MURDER IN THE WORST DEGREE is a place where old friends connect. It’s the tenth book in the series, so regular readers meet up with familiar characters. Although I read one or two books in the series, it was long ago so I’m close to being a newcomer. The story holds up well for new readers. In nearly all parts of the story the reader meets the characters before they have much time on stage, a technique I much prefer over its inverse.
This is another case, though, where a Cast of Characters would have been helpful. It’s often very difficult for a reader to know when was the last instance of a character, to flip back exactly that number of pages to see who they are, their job title, who they’re married to, the names of their kids. In a long running series there are a great many players whose relationship to other characters is not always obvious. A Cast of Characters is an easy place to flip back and find out if the person one is reading about is really the person one remembers. Don’t worry about our getting ahead of ourselves plot-wise—most of us are smart enough to skip over the characters we haven’t yet met.
The characters are treated with loving care in MURDER IN THE WORST DEGREE; this is a characteristic I remember from the earlier books. And so, the reader develops a strong interest in their wellbeing.
Though events occurring around Rocky Bluff Police Department seem like ordinary, innocuous police business, it isn’t more than a page or two before one is hungrily eating up the pages.
A light, satisfying tale.