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Peter Hatherall Mystery Books In Order

Publication Order of Peter Hatherall Mystery Books

The Skeletons of Birkbury (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bells on her Toes (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Point Of No Return (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Who Killed Vivien Morse? (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twisted Truth (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Paperboy (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Peter Hatherall Mystery is a series of detective crime mysteries by Diana J. Febry. Her mother died while she was in her twenties and she decided to take her name as a pseudonym which she now uses in her writing. She had always loved writing from an early age and claims her maternal grandmother as one of her strongest influences. While she was not a writer, she was a widely traveled woman having worked with the Codrington family who traveled all across the world during the early years of the 20th century. She would tell great stories of her adventures which got Febry hooked on storytelling. She published her first novel in the DCI Peter Hatherall Mystery Series “The Skeletons of Birkbury” in 2012 and has never looked back since. She also has several freestanding novels such as “Debts and Druids” and “Fool Me Once” that have just been as successful. When she is not writing, she loves to spend time with her dog and tends to her two horses Jaeica and Mr. Paddy that she stables at the Badminton Estate of the Duke of Beaufort. The four of them usually strut the parkland and woods on the estate and she takes the time to think up new story angles.

The Peter Hatherall Mystery Series is set in rural England among the close-knit equine communities. The classic murder mysteries are well-paced police procedurals with archetypal characters and well defined and realistic dialogue. They are conventional whodunit novels with intricate plots and attention-grabbing layers and twists without the graphically violent scenes. The lead characters in the series are DCI Peter Hatherall who works alongside his partner DI Fiona Williams. Peter is a devoted police officer but just like every other person he has his personal struggles and flaws which affect his work. He has problems at home as his marriage is not working. Over the course of the novels, he finds it hard to separate work and personal demons until his marriage finally falls apart leaving him a very pained and broken individual. His partner Fiona also has her own issues that include having to walk away from a long term relationship, a decision that has left her devastated. She also has to deal with the subsequent loneliness while working to solve some of the toughest murder mysteries in rural England. Nonetheless, the two of them throw themselves into work with commitment and dedication and over time they develop some attraction that neither of them will readily admit to. The novels also have varied and interesting characters from the loonies, horsey types, village bumpkins and aristocrats, all of whom add flavor to the mysteries.

“The Skeletons of Birkbury” the first novel of the Peter Hatherall Mystery Series introduces the lead DCI Peter Hatherall and his partner DI Fiona Williams. Rural communities are assumed to be hostile towards outsiders and strangers who come in and start poking in things that are not their business. As such, there is a lot of uproar in Birkbury when the police discover the body of young girl in the woods. Peter and his partner Fiona are called in to investigate but their work is hindered by the indifferent, secretive, gossipy, backbiting, stubborn and reluctant locals. Lead after lead turns up empty until they think the trail will inevitably grow cold when the lead suspect gets into an accident that reenergizes the investigators’ determination to resolve the case. The novel has the small-town charm of a cozy mystery though it not really a cozy but more of a police procedural. It is full of intriguing and interesting suspects that keep one guessing and leaning towards biases and hunches. To make it even better, it provides a look into the troubles and motivations of the private lives of Fiona and Peter, which makes their investigations problematic but are still a welcome distraction.

“Bells on her Toes” the second novel of the series is still set in the rural setting of England where social class still has a significant impact on daily life. A man named Jake Skellet had been shot on the estate of the local earl on a portion of the land that had been leased to Ben Holloway, a horse trainer. He is a man disliked by almost everyone as he has an overbearing attitude. The dead man has been a used car salesman and seemingly was unconnected to the farm given that his social status would have made him a misfit among the insular villages. Another accident only serves to add intrigue to the mystery and Fiona and Peter are called in to investigate and close the case quietly and quickly without bothering the earl or his family. DCI Peter Hatherall is dealing with personal issues and does not like the slow pace of the investigation or the close scrutiny of Superintendent Rogers his boss. Fiona Williams his partner also has her own personal troubles from her relationship with DI Steve Jackson who is both her colleague and housemate. Jackson has been emotionally distant and recently announced that he was expanding his search for promotion to distant parts of the UK. This may put their relationship in jeopardy though Fiona cannot bring herself to ask him about the future of their relationship. Moreover, she also has to deal with Hatherall’s spiraling drinking and progressively brusque attitude.

“Point of no Return” the third novel of the Peter Hatherall Mystery Series tells the story of Digby Pearce, who was wrongly put on trial dangerous driving that had resulted in the death of his best friend. He has just been acquitted and believes that James Palmer had lied and been responsible for his troubles. Digby is angry and the crushing grief has made him take a drastic and terrible decision that would point the blame on his nemesis Palmer. Jim would not have been injured and would have had a seat belt bruise at worst. But Palmer had parked his tractor forks in the wrong position and was never in the field as he had claimed. Two years later James Palmer the wealthy ladies man and ex hairdresser is the target of petty vandalism and threats from some unknown person. DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams are assigned to work the case only for things to get more interesting when Linda, Palmer’s wife is seriously injured. There is an escalation in violence with more suspects and motives unearthed in several twists and turns.

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