Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Coffin Trail - Martin Edwards

A mystery set in the Lake District, featuring historian Daniel Kind, who leaves his position as a historian at Oxford and relocates with his new partner Miranda to Brackdale, where he once spent his holidays as a child and met a friend there named Barrie Gilpin. Daniel’s father Ben left Daniel and his sister and mother when Daniel was young, Ben going off to live with another woman in the Lake District. Daniel is curious now to find out more about who his late father really was, what sort of man he was, from his former colleagues in the police force, and from one in particular, DCI Hannah Scarlett, who admired and worked closely with Ben. Coincidentally, Hannah has been tasked with working on cold cases, leading the Cold Case Review Team, looking back into local crimes that were never solved, and one of these involves the murder of a young woman on a local landmark, the pagan Sacrifice Stone. This murder was assumed by most people at the time to have been carried out by Barrie Gilpin, who was subsequently found dead nearby on the very same night. But his guilt has never been proven, and it was a case that Ben Kind questioned. Now, thanks to a tip off in an anonymous phone call, Hannah is looking into it once again, and with Ben’s son Daniel on the scene and also believing in Barrie’s innocence, there is a determination to uncover the truth behind the secrets in this small close-knit community. However, naturally there are those for whom the past best lies well hidden, and who don’t welcome this digging around to unearth secrets long buried.

I was excited about reading this mystery, as it is the first in a series set in the Lake District, my favourite place in the UK, where I have spent many a happy week. It’s a good read and the characters are introduced slowly and built up nicely. In particular, the meetings between Hannah and Daniel, as Daniel can't resist getting involved with the investigation, and the story builds to a dramatic, tense conclusion. I believe there are currently five books in this series so far, so there are plenty more cases to read about involving Daniel and DCI Scarlett, and it will be interesting to see how Daniel's relationship with Miranda will fare, and whether they will both be satisfied with lakeland village life in the long-term. Looking forward to reading more of these thrillers soon, perhaps next time I am in the Lakes!


The Coffin Trail is published in the UK by Allison & Busby and is available now.
Visit the author's website here for more about the series.
Find him on twitter @medwardsbooks 


  1. I love crime stories and I am a series addict, so I will ck this out :)

  2. Thanks for visiting Kimba! Hope you like these if you do try them :)

  3. I've seen this one recommended for me on Amazon. Will see if I can get hold of a swap for it

  4. I love the Lake District too, so I'm drawn to this book if only for it's setting.


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