The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis

The Funeral Boat by Kate Ellis
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

When a skeleton is discovered on a Devon smallholding, DS Wesley Peterson, a keen amateur archaeologist, is intrigued by the possibility that it is a Viking corpse buried in keeping with ancient traditions. But he has a rather more urgent crime to solve, when a Danish tourist is reported missing.

Wesley finds disturbing evidence that the woman has been abducted. His boss Gerry Heffernan believes that Ingeborg’s disappearance is linked to a spate of brutal robberies and that she witnessed something she shouldn’t have.

But is her disappearance linked to far older events? For it seems that this may not have been Ingeborg’s first visit to this far from quiet West Country backwater . . .

A skeleton is discovered on a small farm and DS Wesley Peterson’s boss is convinced it’s the remains of a criminal that had lived on the land then mysteriously disappeared three years ago. But the skeleton appears to have been buried in a boat – one of the rituals many Viking graves have. Wesley’s archaeologist friend, Neil, is convinced the body is extremely old, but a number of questions remain. Then when a Danish tourist goes missing, Wes and his team have to juggle both cases as well as a spate of robberies that have occurred with the local farms.

I have been enjoying this series of police procedural mysteries and am feeling the author is starting to hit her stride. I find there is a decent balance of police procedure and murder mystery – though I do admit readers looking for a heavily historical or strongly archaeology based series might find this side of the plot is often not as front-and-center as the more modern mystery and police aspects of the plot.

I am also enjoying the fact Wesley’s police colleagues and team are definitely being fleshed out a little more and the team is knitting together very well. This has been more of a slower paced arc covering the series as a whole but I am really starting to enjoy it all. This book can absolutely be read by itself and while I am enjoying the longer arc having read each of the previous books in the series, it definitely isn’t necessary to thoroughly enjoy this story on its own merits.

A fun and well written British police procedural murder mystery I enjoyed this book and can definitely recommend the series as a whole.

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