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The Body in the Dales

by J. R. Ellis

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805256,921 (3.29)4
An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. Revised edition: Previously published as The Body in Jingling Pot, this edition of The Body in the Dales includes editorial revisions. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins's body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks. Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below.… (more)

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I was introduced to J.R. Ellis', "A Yorkshire Murder" mystery series through book number five in series, "The Nidderdale Murders". I was so taken by it, that I requested that my local library purchase this first book in series, which they have graciously done.

Again, I was captivated by the brooding and unrelenting environment of the Yorkshire countryside which plays a strong role in this murder mystery. This time, its the circuitous cave systems deep below the surface which capture the imagination. A body is found in one system, which has been dead a few days. Yet, cavers were just there a day or so ago and did not encounter it. How did it get there and who had it in for this unfortunate fellow? We soon learn that there are lots of folks with reasons to murder this wretched man. DCI James Oldroyd and his newly hired Detective Andrew Carter are soon on scene having been called out from the Harrogate Division of West Riding Police. Oldroyd is an old Oxford man who is deeply wedded to his job and the Yorkshire environs. He has a strong philosophical approach to his work and is highly respected. Carter recently left service in London but is soon taken under Oldroyd's wing.

Ellis does a fine job of fleshing out the series of characters in this book, laying out well the personalities of the detectives who serve throughout the series as well as the players for this particular story. He also does an excellent job of painting a landscape such that the reader sees it as if standing by the characters in the book. Makes this reader want to visit and hike the dales.

If a mystery set with country village charm appeals to you, then I highly commend this series to your reading pile.

Synopsis:

An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose.

A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London.

The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks.

Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below. ( )
  KateBaxter | Nov 15, 2020 |
A somewhat stereotyped police procedural, redeemed by the interesting Yorkshire Dale's setting and murder scene of a pothole. Find it hard to believe victim's friends he was with night he was killed weren't interviewed by police, only his many apparent enemies. Entertaining enough though. ( )
  edwardsgt | Aug 22, 2020 |
When the body of Dave Atkins is found in a hard-to-reach spot in the local cave system, Yorkshire Detective Inspector Oldroyd and his team have to figure out not only who murdered the hated man, but how the murderer could have carried a dead body into such a difficult underground location, and how the body could show signs of having been in the cave for over a week when the caving club had been exploring that very path just two days before.
Atmospheric with Northern dialect and a little village full of suspects. ( )
  mstrust | Dec 4, 2019 |
This story certainly takes most of us to places we have not been - underground into a cave system.
In reality this is something I would much rather do vicariously. Getting stuck underground would not be my idea of fun. Nevertheless I learnt a lot about caving

The first mystery to be solved is how the body got there? a remote section of a cave that is relatively difficult to get to. Did somebody carry the body there? It doesn't seem that the location was where the murder was committed. And then what was the motive for the murder?

DCI Jim Olroyd is an interesting character, and one can't help thinking of Andy Dalziel, and his treatment of newcomer DS Carter is kindly. I could have done without Carter's phone conversations with his inane London mate, although I suppose they do emphasis how very different life in Yorkshire is.

There were some inconsistencies in the mental picture of the deceased Dave Atkins who is described as both attractive to women, and a difficult person to like, but perhaps the last was from the point of view of cuckolded husbands.

The final solution to the first mystery was similar to my first thoughts on the topic, although the actual motive was harder to guess.

The narrator was set a hard task in this reading in that he attempts to reproduce an incredible number of voices. In the main he manages to make most voices distinctive. ( )
  smik | Feb 23, 2019 |
Previously self-published as The Body in Jingling Pot in Great Britain in 2017. I received this book from netgalley to review and I have to say I loved it! Colorful characters, a tough mystery to unfold, and all in a beautiful landscape. ( )
  whybehave2002 | Aug 6, 2018 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Epigraph
Unless tha’s careful on thi ways, Providence Pot will end thi days.
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To Jackie
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Deep under the Yorkshire Dales, cavers were scrambling along dark passageways.
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Who said that a well-educated person was not someone who knew the answer to every question, but someone who knew where to find the answer?
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An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. Revised edition: Previously published as The Body in Jingling Pot, this edition of The Body in the Dales includes editorial revisions. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins's body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks. Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below.

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