Ruin Beach by Kate Rhodes, Simon & Schuster  Two very different (but complementary) books by Cambridge-resident authors offer rewarding fare for crime aficionados. Kate Rhodes is approaching pole position in the crime writing stakes with her beautifully plotted and elegantly written psychological thrillers, of which Ruin Beach is the latest. The Scilly Isles Deputy Chief of Police Ben Kitto is hankering for the buzz of working in the murder squad in London when the discovery of the body of a professional woman diver provides him with a challenge as rigorous as any he found in the capital – particularly when the islanders become deeply recalcitrant. Admirers of Rhodes’ earlier work need not hesitate; all the elements that coalesced so perfectly in such books as Hell Bay are firmly in place here.

Cambridge: Myriad of Misdeeds by Pippa Macallister, Ostara Publishing  Pippa Macallister’s piquant and very readable guide Cambridge: Myriad of Misdeeds is the perfect accompaniment to any trip to Cambridge for lovers of crime fiction. Undercutting the tourist image of punts on the River Cam, hosts of bicycles and students walking in the shadow of the ancient buildings, Macallister has catalogued (with lively notes) the crime, thriller and mystery fiction that is either set in the city or has a Cambridge association. The main effect of her rigorously researched book is to send the reader anew to such writers as Mike Ripley, David Roberts, the late Jessica Mann and Philip Gooden. But Macallister (a CWA Dagger judge) does not confine herself to well-known authors – there are many examples of serendipity here, along with books written in languages other than English and a section on related radio, TV and film crime. A concise treat.


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