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Lakeland Murders Books In Order

Publication Order of Lakeland Murders Books

The Two Towns (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Separated At Death (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death On High (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death On Account (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Riddled On the Sands (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pale Horse, Dark Horse (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hail and Farewell (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mortal Men (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Delayed & Denied (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Half Remembered Life (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Becomes Him (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inherit the Earth (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cumbrian County Lines (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Lakeland Murders” is a Series of mystery crime novels by J.J. Salkeld. Salkeld is the pseudonym of Richard Simpson, the documentary filmmaker and newspaper journalist who decided to become a crime fiction author. From his base in Cumbria, he spent one and a half decades telling the stories, events, places, and people that make the Lake District the magical place that it is. While his novels tell of the misdemeanors and crimes of those who operate in the darkness of the night after all the businessmen and tourists have retired to their homes and hotel rooms, he takes a different approach in the Lakeland Murders series. The setting, content, and tone of the series are different from the mystery novels he wrote in the past. The “Lakeland Murders” are about Detective Inspector Andy Hall and Jane Francis of Lakeland town who tackle a series of ugly crime in some of the most breathtaking settings in Britain. The novels are full of death though the stories do not have the usual gore expected of crime fiction. Nonetheless, they do not hold back from showing that crime has terrible consequences for the society at large and for the individual. His other novels such as the “Border City Blues” tell urban, gritty and violent stories full of dry humor while still addressing many of the issues the British police force has to deal with. These include a surge in crime due to social issues and lack of financial support.

In the “Lakeland Murders” Series by J.J. Salkeld, the author writes novels with a strong sense of place will well-rounded characters and an overarching storyline that transcends the leads of each novel, which is what has made the novels so successful across the globe. These are thoroughly British procedurals with some great characters and solid plots. They are set in the Lake District, a scenic location in Britain which belies the violence and crime that is becoming endemic in the region. For the most part, they are mystery reads about a murder in which the lead detective inspector Hall comes in with his team to investigate and find the killer. Detective Inspector Hall is an excellent investigator though at the start of the novels he is still a rookie with only a few cases under his belt. He is dealing with issues in his marriage that is nearly falling apart given that his wife thinks he is neglecting her for the sake of work. While he is competent at his job, he needs to deal with his personal issues even as he confronts the fact that the Superintendent cares more about crime statistics and cutting costs than in solving crime. As an inspector he deals with constant threats of firing and suspension, while he tries to serve and protect his community.

In “Separated at Death” the first novel of the Lakeland Murders series introduces Detective Inspector Hall, former research scientist Jane Francis and Detective Sergeant Mann. In the novel, the daughter of a wealthy family in Kendal wakes up to the news that their teenage daughter is dead. She had been found strangled by unknown persons in the Serpentine Woods. DI Hall and his team immediately swing into action but cannot find any evidence of sexual motive for the homicide. They decide to investigate friends and family for someone that may have had motive. But with the police department in Lakeland being subjected to merger threats and austerity budgets, Hall knows that spending too much of his resources on the case could result in some of his team members losing their jobs in the coming year. He is relatively new to the homicide department having only handled three cases. His personal life is in shambles and leads are hard to come by, which is just making his life more difficult. Meanwhile, Ian Mann the ex-marine and now sergeant is working on a puzzling case of some lad who seems to be climbing the ladder to become one of the most dangerous criminals in town. Could the two cases be connected?

In “Death on High,” the second novel in the series, the CID team at Kendal police station led by DI Andy Hall is faced with a new set of challenges. Someone just fell in Fairfield in a bad weather accident that proved fatal. Initially, the CID team treated it as an accident but then DC Jane Francis and Hall launch an investigation after noticing that the details do not add up. Things get complicated when both officers become personally involved in a decision that they may come to regret. Meanwhile, the recession is continuing to bite and hence the new Rural Organized Crimes Unit has been moved to Kendal CID. One of the first assignments that they undertake is given to Ian Mann, the ex-Royal Marine sergeant. He needs to infiltrate a gang stealing metal, farm machinery and livestock by going undercover. He is up to the task but the absence of DC ray Dixon who cannot wait to go for his holidays may put him in real danger. The team visits several scenic locations across Lakeland and the most remote corners of Cumbria that are perfectly described. It is an intriguing view of life not only for the ordinary people of Cumbria but also a great detective story.

“Death on Account” the third novel of the “Lakeland Murders” series has DI Andy Hall and his fellow officers confronting crimes that could not be any more different except for their deadly consequences. A supergrass recently settled on the Edge of the scenic Lake District in Kendal, England. But while he is taking a leisurely stroll on the edges of the River Kent he is murdered in broad daylight. How could his identity have been uncovered? Hall and his fellow officers are frustrated and think they may just have a mole within the constabulary ranks of Cumbria. Another highly improbable theory is that the man could have been spotted by another criminal while he was out in one of the safest areas in England. In the meantime, a woman is having it rough taking care of her handicapped daughter. They are on a beautiful housing estate on the suburbs though they have to contend with an evil neighbor who would fit in very well in hell. The police are facing deep budget cuts and it is not clear if they have the resources to discover if they have a mole, while protecting daughter and mother as adequately as they should.

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