> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Book Review: Books 1 and 2 of the Insp. Luke Thanet Series
Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review: Books 1 and 2 of the Insp. Luke Thanet Series

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these ebooks free of charge,from Open Road Integrated Media via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them, all opinions are my own.

Sometimes when you start a series midway, or toward the end, you just have to go BACK and start at the beginning! I've been enjoying the Insp. Luke Thanet series, and I recently got the opportunity to go back and read the first 6 books, so I'll be sharing them with you, 2 at a time!

The series is being re-released, with all new covers, and ebook versions, so it's a good time to start at the beginning, if you're new to it!

night she died cover

Luke Thanet is a British police inspector with a soft heart, bad back, and bloodhound’s nose for murder. When a young woman is found stabbed through the heart with a kitchen knife, Thanet and his partner, the brusque young Mike Lineham, rush to the scene. Julie Holmes lies dead in her front hall, wrapped in her overcoat, her handbag missing. The perpetrator could have been a burglar, a jealous husband, or a spurned lover. But Detective Inspector Thanet never leaps to conclusions, and always takes his time; it seems the key to finding this killer lurks twenty years in the past.

When Julie was a child, she witnessed a murder—a traumatic event so scarring she repressed it entirely. Thanet believes that before she died, Julie’s memory came back—and so did the killer . . .


This debut mystery from Simpson was the accomplishment of having 3 novels fail to make publishing. She came up with a new detective, gave him an affable side kick, a lovely wife and kids, and put him in the Kent she knew so well, and as they say, the rest was history, as the series evolved into 15 novels, before she stopped writing.

This first books offers up a open door/closed room mystery, a la Christie, and one that offers a good many red herrings, that allow the reader to start feeling for Simpson's writing style, and Thanet's thought process. It was an enjoyable page turner and for the reader of the series, a welcome look back at where it all began.

6 feet under cover

Det. Inspector Luke Thanet may be the only happy cop in England. He has two healthy children, a wonderful wife, and the inner peace that comes from knowing there’s nothing on the job he can’t handle. But all that changes the first day he goes to Nettleton, a little town with evil secrets—and a body count on the rise.

The first victim is Carrie Birch, a quiet woman who lives with her elderly mother and has never made an enemy in her life. When she doesn’t come home one night, her mother panics and calls the police. Inspector Thanet’s partner, the brash young Mike Lineham, answers the call. He finds Carrie brutally murdered in a Nettleton bathroom, the first revelation in a series of shocks that will tear the little village wide open.


Book 2 picks up after book 1, so there is no time lapse for the reader. Thanet's sergeant, Lineham is trying to convince his mother that his leaving the nest to get married is a good thing, and the case that presents itself to them, seems to offer an alternative choice, if the path he's on continues. As Thanet and Lineham struggle to really get to know the victim, they suddenly find themselves with no shortage of possible suspects. the case continues to strike home, as Thanet's wife want to see employment as their son starts school, and he wants her to stay home. As the case shadows and mirrors their lives the duo keeps searching for more clues, until inspiration breaks open the case! A solid sophomoric turn, making you glad you started reading the series!

About the Author:

Simpson was born and brought up in South Wales, attended Bristol University, and moved to Kent, after university, to teach French at Dartford and Erith grammar schools. She married in 1961 and worked as a marriage guidance counselor, before starting her writing career in 1975. She published her first novel in 1977, and then devoted her time to "creating an intriguing murder mystery staged around an engaging sleuth," and came up with Inspector Luke Thanet. Who she would keep around for 15 novels, before having to stop writing in 2000. She and her husband had three children, and live in Maidstone, Kent.

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