Churchyard and Hawke - EV Thompson

After taking a serious beating while engaged in unofficial undercover work in the murky streets and taverns of London s 19th century slums, Pc Tom Churchyard goes to Cornwall. Here, in spite of his injuries, he becomes right-hand man to Amos Hawke, a sen

After taking a serious beating while engaged in unofficial undercover work in the murky streets and taverns of London's 19th century slums, Pc Tom Churchyard goes to Cornwall.

Here, in spite of his injuries, he becomes right-hand man to Amos Hawke, a senior officer in the fledgling Cornwall constabulary.

His knowledge of the London rogues proves invaluable as Amos seeks to foil a gang of city thieves planning a series of audacious burglaries at the mansions of the Cornish gentry.

But the investigation takes a darker turn when a servant girl is found murdered.

Is her death part of the burglary plot, or was she involved in something else?

And when her employer, the viscount, is poisoned, the inquiry becomes even more complex.

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Churchyard and Hawke (�18.99, Robert Hale), a gentle read from the pen of the prolific EV Thompson, is an interesting look at the early days of the police force, when not all the aristocracy are in favour of the constabulary.

And there's romance in the air as Tom Churchyard falls for the viscount's housekeeper.

Set in 1859, it's a combination of Midsomer Murders and Upstairs Downstairs. The kind of thing TV schedulers put on for a winter Sunday evening.

Thompson's fans first met Hawke in last year's Though the Heavens May Fall when he, too, was a London policeman sent to Cornwall to investigate the murder of three men and fell in love with a local woman.

She is now his wife.