Dead Before Morning by Geraldine Evans

Dead Before Morning (Rafferty and Llewellyn Police Procedural Series, #1)Dead Before Morning by Geraldine Evans
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspector Rafferty is a student of hard knocks, a touch rough around the edges perhaps, while his aide, Sergeant Llewellyn, is the quintessential highbrow intellectual with a university education and a decidedly priggish side. The interplay between the two is endlessly entertaining, often hilarious. They are faced with a corpse without one – a face, that is. A young woman with a mutilated face and no clothes is found dead on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital. Suspects abound: the insufferable Sir Anthony, who runs the hospital and is known for his philandering, various staff members, nurses, even the dead girl’s father. The author cleverly provides ample motive for a half a dozen suspects, but they all seem to have solid alibis or other impediments to being the successful denouement of the case.

While trying to solve the murder, Rafferty must also contend with an Irish mother who is trying to marry him off to a distant cousin and yet another distant cousin languishing in jail who expects Rafferty to spring him free. Woe to the poor Inspector!

I just loved this book. The mystery was in the style of Agatha Christie, where plenty of suspects are presented and although one at the end is revealed, it might have been almost anyone else. The charm of the book is the dialog between Rafferty and Llewellyn, who could qualify as the Bertie Wooster and Jeeves of the detective set.

I listened to the newly released audiobook and this made a huge difference. The acting by the reader was superb. His rich voice and varying regional accents were a delight. As an American I can’t tell a Welsh accent from a Scottish one despite my mother’s maiden name being Welsh. Even so I could certainly enjoy the subtle shift in tone and class between the two detectives, each of whom was given a distinctive voice.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of

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