Inspector Parry is a murder mystery series set in Wales, and it tells us the story of Detective Chief Inspector Merlin Parry of South Wales Constabulary, and a sidekickcalled Sergeant Gomer Lloyd. The first novel in the series is titled ‘Last Seen Breathing’, and it starts with the shocking news of the death of an ex-actress called Rhonwen, a wealthy widow and a leading light in the Operatic Society. Hardly had the market town digested this tragedy than news started filtering in about the strange circumstances surrounding the death of Elwyn, the son of the rich widow who had just died.
At first it was assumed that Elwyn had died of natural causes but then Inspector Parry receives some evidence suggesting that the man wasn’t above blackmail. So the detective starts having some very different feelings about the whole matter and he starts his own investigations. These investigations now threaten to uncover blistering scandal, chief amongst them were intimate house shindigs and misconduct by a member of the clergy. It seems that Madam Rhonwen had kept some explicit diaries detailing all these events and now that things are starting to unravel, Tawbrach Town is about to change forever.
Madam Rhonwen had left behind some explicit diaries and her son was threatening to sell them to a Sunday tabloid unless he receives a large sum of money. When his mother is killed in what appears to be an accident, she is buried in style by the locals. So when Elwyn dies mysteriously, it seems like the two deaths may be related. Remember that there’s a clergyman whose improper conduct is now coming to light and so he might be a suspect. There are other people in the diary that might be guilty and so we have a thrilling murder mystery on our hands.
The author has done a god job in coming up with a good plot and the clues are well concealed, which makes you question all the characters. The entire plot has been put together using humor and elegance, and this makes for a thoroughly entertaining read. Inspector Parry does some great investigative work in order to uncover the plot, and he comes across as an agreeable person. He is assisted in this case by his portly sidekick, Sergeant Lloyd, and the two of them embark on a very entertaining journey to uncover the murder mystery.
David Williams is also very skilled at depicting the facades behind the respectable members of society, and the ignoble reality of it all. The author has also done a remarkable job of giving the reader richly developed characters, and he brings them to life in a skillful manner. As a newly appointed detective, you would think that Inspector Parry would be out of his depth but he goes about his detective work in such a skillful manner that you would think that he is a veteran sleuth. Even though he has a very sad past, the detective is a likeable person and you find yourself rooting for him to succeed.
The second book in the Inspector Parry murder mystery series is called ‘Death Of A Prodigal’. This book tells us the story of Mervyn Davies, who left Wales to go to Australia but under cloudy circumstances. So when he decides to go back to his roots to collect a vast inheritance bequeathed by a childhood friend, Edwin Edworth, the richest bachelor in town, some folks are surprised while others show disgust at his perceived good fortune-especially his relatives. When Davies is killed, Edworth’s envious relatives appear to posses the clear motive but DCI Parry is not sure about that.
In his Will, Davies did not leave anything to his relatives and so when his dismembered head is found in a supermarket bag by a landlord’s wife, the relatives are chief suspects. Inspector Parry and his sidekick Gomer Lloyd have come from Cardiff in order to investigate the murder. The two of them must dig deep mentally in order to identify other motives that may not be very obvious. In addition, there are some relatives that are going under the radar. The detectives also have to search for the remaining pieces of Davies’ body.
This second book in the Inspector Parry series is yet another classic from David Williams. It is a delicious and genuine Welsh medley that follows in the giant footsteps of his first book-Last Seen Breathing. The author is also very inventive and he is also a stylish and elegant craftsman who combines devilish wit and civilized entertainment to bring out an authentic story that is believable. Subtle and sly are words that can be used to describe the writer’s style and this makes his books highly entertaining. The author has also made an effort to maintain a robust tradition of classic British murder mystery fiction.
The last place in Britain where you would expect to find a television sleuth appears to be Wales but Inspector Parry and his sidekick Lloyd are very strong candidates for this role. The first book delivered on its promise and this is enhanced because of the superbly crafted mystery writing that is Death Of A Prodigal. The vast majority of critics have come to the conclusion that this is as entertaining a murder mystery as you will come across. When you add the sheer professionalism of Inspector Parry, you have a book you can hardly put down.
Even as the complex roots from the past bringing forth murder, and a stifling rustic society threatens to unravel, the steady detective work of Inspector Parry saves the day. One thing that you will find in abundance is wit, and this plot is also very well executed. The author has often said that he normally doesn’t know the culprit until the very conclusion of his writing, and this is very evident in the twists and turns. The author is also very skilled at creating interesting characters, and even though they are briefly described, their realistic dialogue makes them come alive. If these two books are anything to go by, readers can expect more entertainment from the Inspector Parry series.
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