Grounds for Appeal
By Bernard Knight
(Severn House Publishers, Hardcover, 9780727881076, 215pp.)
Publication Date: February 2012
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Bernard Knight is the author of the Crown John Mysteries series and is a member of The Medieval Murderers.
The discovery of a headless body in a Cardiganshire bog prompts Welsh pathologist Richard Pryor and Angela Bray, his forensic consultancy business partner, to swing into high gear in Knight’s solid third 1950s mystery (after 2010’s According to the Evidence). Meanwhile, a new woman in Pryor’s life—Priscilla Chambers, a former medical associate of Angela—fills in while Angela is briefly away tending to her aging mother. An underplayed conflict arises as Pryor compares the two women, both of whom pose potential romantic interest. A couple of subplots involve a paternity question and an abused woman’s appeal of her murder conviction. While retired Home Office pathologist Knight puts the budding technology of scientific crime solving at the forefront, often at the expense of character development, this period procedural is not without its peculiar charms.