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The Salton Killings by Sally Spencer
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This is the first book in the Inspector Charlie Woodend series, and is set in a small village in Cheshire, England. Chief Inspector Woodend has been sent from London to investigate the murder of a teenage girl, found strangled and buried in a salt storeroom. He's teamed up with a new partner, Sgt. Bob Rutter, who wants to do a good job but is perplexed by Woodend and his manner of investigation. Before too long, they discover that another girl died sixteen years ago, and the manner of death seems remarkably similar to the one they are investigating now.

It took me a little while to realize this book is set in the 50s. Several of the characters are still talking about “the war”. I really liked the characters and thought the author did a great job of atmospheric writing. I thought the book was a little slow in the beginning but eventually the dialogue and characters drew me in. This is apparently the first in series that currently has twenty books. I found it notable that I hadn't ever heard of it before because I do enjoy British crime novels. I will definitely try another sometime in the future.
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  Olivermagnus | Aug 9, 2017 |
THE SALTON KILLINGS is set in a small salt mining village in Cheshire in the mid 50s. Chief Inspector Charlie Woodend, "Cloggin'- it Charlie", is a northerner, a bit of a misfit at Scotland Yard. He has a reputation of wearing out sergeants faster than you can get through shoe leather.

Rutter [Charlie's assigned sergeant for this case] finally caught sight of the DCI, a man in his middle forties, wearing a baggy check sports coat over a zipped knitted cardigan. ... Hair - light brown, no Brylcreem, unruly. Nose - nearly, but not quite, hooked. Mouth - wide. Jaw - square without being brutish. All in all, a pleasant but unremarkable face. Except for the eyes. They were dark, almost black, and the lids were like camera shutters, constantly clicking and registering.

If you are looking for a well constructed British police procedural then THE SALTON KILLINGS, the debut novel in Spencer's Woodend series, might hit the spot. It did for me. An almost undemanding and quick read, with many of the hall marks of a cozy. But Charlie Woodend is an interesting character. THE SALTON KILLINGS is written retrospectively. The Epilogue takes us to Woodend in retirement and looks back at the case. An interesting technique.

I decided to track down the first in the series after I had read (and liked) the last on the list and then the second in Spencer's series that followed - the DCI Monika Paniatowski series. ( )
  smik | Jun 22, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0749003189, Paperback)

The strangled body of teenager Diane Thorburn is found buried in the salt store in a Cheshire village and Diane's best friend, Margie Poole, knows more than she is prepared to tell. Chief Inspector Woodend (a mixture of Rumpole and Morse) is drafted in from London to investigate. His inquiry turns up the death of another young girl and the similarities in the two cases begin to look more than just a coincidence. Is there a serial killer on the loose and, if so, where and at whom will he strike next?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:00 -0400)

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When Chief inspector Woodard is called from London to investigate the murder of a teenage girl in Cheshire, his investigation unearths information about a similar killing a generation before.

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