Title: Ice Blue (Lord and Lady Hetheridge 1)
Author: Emma Jameson
Publication Date: 2011
It is not easy for a woman to be a Detective Sergeant in the male-dominated New Scotland Yard, but Kate Wakefield is bold and brash and just a bit outspoken. When her superior makes an unsolicited move on her and she retaliates verbally, she is brought to the attention of Chief Superintendent Anthony Hetheridge. Instead of firing Kate, Hetheridge is impressed with her insight and thoroughness and brings her on to his team. Hetheridge is as different from Kate as can be; in addition to being almost 30 years her senior, he is also the ninth Baron of Wellegrave. His aristocratic demeanor and reputation for solid and comprehensive investigating make him a legend at Scotland Yard. Struggling to control her quips and comments, Kate find that she enjoys working with Hetheridge and appreciates his calm and collected demeanor.
They are called to investigate a particularly brutal murder of a financier. Malcolm Comfrey is dead and a number of people are pleased about it. Complicating matters further, Mrs. Comfrey attempts to take advantage of her past relationship with Hetheridge to hurry the case along as she is less than forthcoming with answers. The drug usage of her daughter Jules and Jules’ fiancé Kevin further obscures the facts.
Kate, however, is not without problems herself. As guardian to her 8-year-old nephew Henry and caregiver to her mentally challenged brother Ritchie, Kate is constantly juggling home and work. Her current “out” with boyfriend Dylan becomes more complex with his sudden disappearance when she has news that must be shared with him.
Kate and Hetheridge are both very private people but in order to solve this case without either of them losing their jobs . . . or their lives . . . they must figure out a way to open up with one another about the crime, their own histories, and the possibility of a future.
This is one of those “if you like this, you might also this” books. I ordered it on a whim and am so pleased that I did. This first story was good but I felt that much of it was devoted to exposition about the characters and their backgrounds. That being said, I am intrigued enough about the characters and their crime-solving prowess to check out further books in the series.
The author creates a really dynamic relationship between these two very opposite characters. Although I figured out early “who dun it,” I was very interested and engaged in seeing how the proof and motive evolved. The author plays a lot on the challenges of a female detective in a very male-dominated environment. There is a lot of humorous, and almost to a point crass, interchange between the characters that has a very honest and real feel.
The series is billed as a “cozy” mystery but I think it is a bit more than that. Certainly not as complex as a Deborah Crombie or Elizabeth George Scotland Yard mystery, there is certainly more depth than your average cozy mystery. I am looking forward to checking out the next book in the series.
Who might like this book:
If you like a Scotland Yard contemporary mystery, you might want to check this one out. The contrast of a titled Chief Superintendent and a lowly detective inspector is one that always holds promise and potential, and this one throws in a massive age difference as well. Fans of Elizabeth George, Anne Cleeland, or Deborah Crombie may enjoy the similarities. There are four books currently in the series:
Something in Blue
Black & Blue