I’m delighted to welcome Ian Roberts with a guest post about his debut novel. Over to you, Ian…
The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.
Sergeant Winston Windflower’s peaceful days and straightforward police work ‘dodging moose and reckless teens’ comes to an end when an unidentified body is washed up on the shore of the interestingly named ’T’ near Grand Bank. As he and Corporal Eddie Tizzard begin their investigation it’s soon apparent the case is much more involved than first thought, especially when thousands of dollars are found sewn into the dead man’s jacket lining. And to make matters worse Windflower has to suspend one of his officers. On the plus side his relationship with Sheila from the Mug-Up café has progressed and they are a solid couple.
Windflower is recruited by Inspector Arsenault of Marystown for temporary special assignment to his drug task force team to stop a huge drug running operation. The situation is further complicated by the discovery of a second body which points to a continuation of the drug related crimes in the first book. Windflower leaves Tizzard in charge on Grand Bank while he works out of Marystown. If all that wasn’t enough Windflower has to divide his time in order to manage a critical situation in his personal life.
RCMP Sergeant Winston Windflower had lived in this small Newfoundland community on the east coast of Canada for a little over three years. He had grown to like the rugged coastline and its hardy and sometimes quirky people who were reluctant to embrace outsiders. But Windflower had managed to win most of them over through his friendly form of community policing but even more so because he got things done. People still remembered him as the one who ended the criminal empire of Harvey Brenton and even though he was a Cree from Northern Alberta they had almost adopted him as one of their own.
There are several short references to the first book that only add to the story and don’t confuse or detract, if you haven’t already read The Walker on the Cape.
I like Windflower as a protagonist very much and although there was a little more mention of his native Cree culture and traditions I felt these could have played a bigger part, perhaps more so than knowing what he ate for every meal. I did enjoy the setting very much, and the vivid scenic descriptions of the area. Also the fact that Windflower is enjoying his job running the RCMP division in Grand Bank and has become an integral part of the community.
The narrative itself is very straightforward making for an easy read. The police procedural develops at steady pace, along the lines of a cozy mystery. I love the cover image, it looks like a photograph and makes me want to visit.