Publisher: Galileo Publishers, September 2023.
The lost art of brass rubbing, crooked antiques dealers, and smuggling all figure in this tale of an unidentified man found naked and ritually murdered on the altar in a Cornish church.
Inspector Cam, on vacation with his family, is asked to help out the local police in this superbly plotted and literary mystery novel. Joan Cockin has created a perfect microcosm of the Cornish village in Villainy at Vespers (1949) and delights in populating the town of Trevelley with all manner of eccentric locals and oddball tourists.
Leading the investigation is a nearly incompetent and irascible local policeman named Honeywether who enlists the help of Cam, though it is mostly the promise of free beer that decides the vacationing copper to join the investigation. Together Cam and Honeywether uncover the identity of the naked corpse and unravel a web of deceit and cover-ups.