Richard Pryor is back in the second book in this series, which starts a couple of months after the first book ended. The freelance private forensic team is doing well, with Dr. Pryor, Angela Bray the biologist, lab technician Sian, and the lovely young widow housekeeper Moira are adjusting to life with each other. The ladies have crushes on Richard, and he in turn feels things for each of them, but everything is all chummy for now.
Their newest case involves what at first looks like a suicide, but which Richard figures out is most likely a murder. The murder is at a farm in the middle of nowhere, so there’s a pretty limited suspect pool in this one. It was fairly easy to figure out, but still a decent story. The B story is a veterinarian who may have killed his terminally ill wife. The whole gang pitches in on that one, and the outcome hinges on some fairly obscure chemistry that turned out to be fairly boring.
It’s interesting how much has changed, how far we’ve come scientifically and technologically since the 1950s – which is not all that long ago. The team is having a phone installed with more than one line, they listen to the radio for entertainment, they have to find a phone to call someone, they even do research in books. No reaching into the pocket and finding everything they need right there on the smart phone.
The writing in these stories is fine, the “banter” isn’t terribly banter-y, but it’s a nice old fashioned mystery story, which is a fine thing on occasion.