One of the most satisfying pairings in detective crime novels is Barry Maitland’s Kathy Kolla and David Brock, first seen in The Marx Sisters. At the time, Kolla is a Detective Sergeant with the Metropolitan Police and in charge of her first murder investigation. DCI Brock of Scotland Yard has an almost legendary reputation and causes no little consternation when he becomes involved in the case.
Over the course of the series (the next is Chelsea Mansions, October 2011), Kolla comes into her own as an investigator and eventually joins Brock’s team at Scotland Yard. Their relationship evolves from student-mentor to colleagues, and although there is an occasional hint of other possibilities, both are involved in their own affairs of the heart. Murder and crime-solving are, as expected, front and center, something another review of the series referred to as “whydunnits.” The investigations are solid, thoughtful, frequently unexpected and complicated.