Severn House, 2015.

Review posted Jan 2017.

A Joe Plantagenet Mystery.

Like so many police procedural characters these days, DI Joe Planagenet is struggling to overcome personal tragedies; in his case the death of his wife. Now he lives alone, and has not yet fashioned a 'normal' existence, although he has had partners.

The characters, too, seem to have ghosts and shadows over their past -- but that is the theme of this book, set in the not-so-fictional (but still romantic) city of Eborby. (York was named Eboracum by the Romans.) Ellis plays on the touristy character of the city to enhance her plot.

And a lovely plot it is, with a multitude of potential killers to investigate, and little hard evidence. A local theater is putting on a production of The Devils, a shocking and gory psychodrama, and the leading lady becomes a victim.

The CID team is led by Joe's boss, DCI Emily Thwaite, who plays the politics of the department more smoothly than Plantagenet, and has advanced rapidly up the promotion ladder.

Ellis manages to keep the story tense and mysterious, with numerous threads in the strand.

This is not the first novel by Ellis I've read, and I admire her craftsmanship, although I'm not particularly a fan of ghost stories.