Title: Trap Lane by Stella Cameron
Alex Duggins Mystery Series Book Six
Publisher: Severn House
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 224 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Although he has always kept his past carefully hidden, as the ever-reliable manager of her well-stocked pub, The Black Dog, Hugh Rhys has Alex Duggins’ total trust. However the unexpected arrival of two women from his past raises the fury of the usually even-tempered Hugh, threatens his carefully-crafted reputation and sends shockwaves through the village.
When a battered body is discovered in a deep pond near Hugh’s estate, Alex and her partner Tony are once again pulled into a chilling murder investigation. With Hugh’s odd behaviour ensuring that he becomes the police’s chief suspect, Alex determines to prove his innocence. But she’s about to find herself walking a dangerous line, looking for a killer she may wish she had never found …
Trap Lane by Stella Cameron is a perplexing mystery that includes personal intrigue, murder and a missing person. Although this newest installment is the sixth installment in the Alex Duggins Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone.
Hugh Rhys, the manager of the Black Dog, is a very enigmatic figure who is very tight-lipped about himself. So when Neve Rhys shows up asking to talk to Hugh, pub owner Alex Duggins’ curiosity is piqued. Hugh’s reaction to Neve is very much out of character, which makes Alex even more curious about their somewhat volatile relationship. Later that evening, she is surprised and somewhat uneasy after unexpectedly spotting unexpectedly him at his vacant house when he should be at work. The next day, a local locksmith is shaken when he goes to Hugh’s house to change the locks and discovers blood on the floor. Detective Inspector Bill Lamb and Detective Sergeant Jillian Miller are called in to investigate the inexplicable disappearance of an unknown person. Alex knows a bit more about the case than she is revealing to the authorities but after she discovers the body of a murdered man close to Hugh’s house, will she divulge this information to DI Lamb? And can she completely trust that Hugh is not involved in this latest murder to occur in Folly-on-Weir?
Alex is torn between protecting Hugh and aiding Bill during the investigation. Her partner, Tony Harrison, wants to keep her safe so he is the voice of reason when he urges her to come clean with investigators. Alex continues to hold back as she waits to see what Hugh does next. She continues to be troubled by his behavior but could she have so misjudged her friend and pub manager?
Hugh is absolutely furious with the unexpected visitors who have arrived in the village. He keeps quiet about the identity of the person staying at his house but does this mean he has anything to do with their apparent disappearance? What exactly is going on between him, his cousin Perry and Perry’s wife Neve? And what, if anything, does Annie Bell have to do with the unfolding mystery?
Trap Lane is an intriguing mystery that takes quite a few unexpected twists and turns. The characters are extremely engaging and the picturesque setting springs vibrantly to life. The investigation is a little slow moving initially but it does not take long for the pace to pick up. Multiple story arcs feature characters from previous books in the series along with regular cast members. Stella Cameron brings this suspenseful mystery to a satisfying yet somewhat abrupt conclusion. I enjoyed and recommend this latest addition to the Alex Duggins Mystery series readers who enjoy cozy mysteries.