It’s not really clear why murder is a suitable antidote to the abuse and dark mayhem of the last few novels I picked up, but the next 4 books in Cleeves’ series became the spring palate-cleanser that I needed during a busy month.
I read the first in the series last fall and liked it, but the books get better and better with each one. They’re like detective serials but with so much more space for the landscape and with really fully-drawn characters that grow and change. I feel no shame in binging on these four books, which deviate ever-more from the TV series.
The setting is obviously the best part - they’re called the Shetland series for a reason. After a few books, you can pretty much smell the salt in the air and taste the whisky. You can feel the dampness, I think, but that may also just be southern Ontario in the wettest summer on record. Hard to say.