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The Body in the Dales

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An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks. Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below. Revised edition: Previously published as The Body in Jingling Pot, this edition of The Body in the Dales includes editorial revisions.


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An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage An unpopular victim. An impossible crime. A murderer on the loose. A body is discovered deep in a cave beneath the Yorkshire Dales. Leading the investigation into the mysterious death are experienced DCI Jim Oldroyd and his partner DS Carter, a newcomer from London. The deceased is Dave Atkins, well known throughout the village but not well liked. While there is no shortage of suspects, the details of the crime leave Oldroyd and Carter stumped. How did Atkins’s body end up in such a remote section of the cave? When someone with vital information turns up dead, it becomes clear that whoever is behind the murders will stop at nothing to conceal their tracks. Oldroyd and his team try to uncover the truth, but every answer unearths a new set of questions. And as secrets and lies are exposed within the close-knit community, the mystery becomes deeper, darker and more complex than the caves below. Revised edition: Previously published as The Body in Jingling Pot, this edition of The Body in the Dales includes editorial revisions.

30 review for The Body in the Dales

  1. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I’m not sure how I was turned on to this audiobook, but I’m so glad I was. It’s a fun mystery, with a dead body found in an impossible location. And the dead man was not well liked. In fact, the suspects are numerous and include almost everyone in town. DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter lead the investigation and they’re a wonderful duo. The old local copper and the young transplant from London. There are a multitude of characters here to keep track of. The book is rich in detail, sometimes a little bit I’m not sure how I was turned on to this audiobook, but I’m so glad I was. It’s a fun mystery, with a dead body found in an impossible location. And the dead man was not well liked. In fact, the suspects are numerous and include almost everyone in town. DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter lead the investigation and they’re a wonderful duo. The old local copper and the young transplant from London. There are a multitude of characters here to keep track of. The book is rich in detail, sometimes a little bit too much. I wasn’t sure I needed everyone’s back story. It took me a bit to get used to the accent as the narrator truly captures the dialogue of the Yorkshire area. But once I did, I really appreciated the energy and emotion he brought to the story. Oldroyd’s sister, an Anglican priest, provides a bit of philosophy to the mix. I especially appreciated her comments on Hannah Arendt’s thoughts on the banality of evil. I’d recommend this series for those that enjoy Joy Ellis’ Fens series. It’s got a similar feel, a straightforward police procedural with a strong sense of place. In fact, I, like Carter, really grew to love the fells and the potholes. And I could see why those that lived there felt they couldn’t live anywhere else. I’m glad to see this is the first in a series and there are already other published books out

  2. 4 out of 5

    Li'l Owl

    The first in the addictive Yorkshire Murder Mystery series is imaginative, puzzling, complex, and frightening! This is a debut? You have my attention, Mr. Ellis! Unless tha’s careful on thi ways, Providence Pot will end thi days. Deep under the Yorkshire Dales, cavers were scrambling along dark passageways. Apart from the eerie echoing of their voices, the only sounds came from water dripping on to their heads and gurgling down the shallow streams. There was the distant roar of an underground The first in the addictive Yorkshire Murder Mystery series is imaginative, puzzling, complex, and frightening! This is a debut? You have my attention, Mr. Ellis! Unless tha’s careful on thi ways, Providence Pot will end thi days. Deep under the Yorkshire Dales, cavers were scrambling along dark passageways. Apart from the eerie echoing of their voices, the only sounds came from water dripping on to their heads and gurgling down the shallow streams. There was the distant roar of an underground river. The dancing lights from their helmets illuminated the rocky walls and cast huge shadows into the heights above them. They were walking through a strange underground world of rock, mud and slime where the temperature remained at the same chilly level throughout the year and intricate systems of interconnecting tunnels plunged hundreds of feet below the surface. The slow action of water dissolving limestone over thousands of years had sculpted shapes like the cave art of a strange subterranean civilisation: long fingers of stalactites hung from the cavern roofs and stalagmites thrust in opposition from the floor. The cavers were still only halfway through the system. They were entering a long and fairly straight passage with a shallow stream in the bottom, about twenty feet high with rocky, uneven walls. The leader called back, ‘Easy bit here. We’ll stop for a rest soon.’ Echoing replies reached him in his forward position. As he splashed down the tunnel, he calculated the time and distance. Two and a half hours to get here, stop for food, another two and a half hours to get through to the end. It was a big responsibility, leading an inexperienced party like this. So many things could go wrong. People fell and broke limbs and it was hours before Cave Rescue could reach them. Reckless amateurs got lost in the labyrinth of passages and sometimes died of exhaustion and hypothermia. Suddenly his foot struck something and he tripped forward. His first thought was how stupid he’d been to allow himself to get distracted. He’d be the one who broke his ankle, and then they’d all be in serious difficulties. Whatever he’d stumbled against had moved and seemed soft. He looked down to illuminate the object and staggered back in shock. His lamp was shining on to a human head. The body of a man lay across the floor of the passage. Congealed blood covered the matted hair and the skull was smashed at the back. Two facts immediately struck the caver. First: the dead man was not wearing any caving gear. Second: he knew who it was. ****** The Body in the Dales by J.R. Ellis is the first in the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series. The first thing that struck me about this book was the characters. I was drawn in by them immediately and by the end of the book, DCI Jim Oldroyd, DI Andrew, 'Andy' Carter, and DS Stephanie 'Steph' Johnson are firmly in my mind and I can't wait to see what they come up against next! The storyline is rich and creative, flowing briskly and fluidity with many interesting leads cropping up as the case progresses. There are a number of well placed twists and turns, creating difficult questions and making the puzzle of the case even more complex and even harder to solve. I enjoyed the entire storyline with it's mix of genuine and warm characters and the unique murder mystery. The story is set in the small village of Harrogate in the Yorkshire Dales, a beautiful place with many interesting and magnificent landscapes. The caves, known as potholes, with their stalactites, eerie darkness, and unpredictable dangers make for an ingenious, fresh and unique backdrop for a creepy murder scene! The Yorkshire Dales are also the home of the famous veterinarian James Harriet which gave me a warm glow as they are some of my favorite books. I was given all three books in this series by NetGally, the third one will be available for purchase in just a few days on the 13th of September. I started this book during breakfast and I just couldn't put it down! This is an addictive novel so I'm reading book two right after this one, followed by book three! (hopefully before the release date.) So far, this is a fantastic series!! Thanks to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer, and J. R. Ellis for giving me all three books in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series for me to read in return for my honest review. In a nutshell, I love this series and I can't wait until book number four comes out!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beachcomber

    Characters feel two dimensional caricatures and not even fixed in who they are - one minute Carter likes Steph, the next he's jumping into bed with the station slut. One minute he's loving rural life and not missing his City Wide Boy friend Jason who pushes money around then boozes the night away, the next he's ringing him after shagging the slut and laughing at the banter (Jason doing a falsetto of "ooh Andy, stick your big Yorkshire dick in me!" - at which point I nearly threw up). Oldroyd not Characters feel two dimensional caricatures and not even fixed in who they are - one minute Carter likes Steph, the next he's jumping into bed with the station slut. One minute he's loving rural life and not missing his City Wide Boy friend Jason who pushes money around then boozes the night away, the next he's ringing him after shagging the slut and laughing at the banter (Jason doing a falsetto of "ooh Andy, stick your big Yorkshire dick in me!" - at which point I nearly threw up). Oldroyd not sharing because he wants his team to think for themselves, but then tells them they should know the answers as they've seen the same evidence he has - they haven't, he's gone off solo half the time. Far too much about this annoyed me. Stilted, telegraphing all its punches, serious need of a good editor.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fictionophile

    As a bona fide anglophile, books set in England always appeal to me. My mother was a war bride and I still have a lot of family in the 'old country'. I've read all of the James Herriot books and love the Yorkshire area. The setting, and the fact that this is a police procedural, is what attracted me to this book. As with many traditional mystery stories, the novel opens with the discovery of a body. The man was found deep in a cave called "The Jingling Pot". He was not equipped with caving gear, As a bona fide anglophile, books set in England always appeal to me. My mother was a war bride and I still have a lot of family in the 'old country'. I've read all of the James Herriot books and love the Yorkshire area. The setting, and the fact that this is a police procedural, is what attracted me to this book. As with many traditional mystery stories, the novel opens with the discovery of a body. The man was found deep in a cave called "The Jingling Pot". He was not equipped with caving gear, and since there had been a team of cavers in that location just a few days previously, it was a mystery why they had not found him sooner. He had been dead for over a week. The victim is identified as Dave Atkins, a local rogue and financial speculator. He was an unpleasant man who was not liked by many - a fact that leaves the police with no shortage of viable suspects. Tasked with solving this puzzling murder are the West Riding Police team of DCI Jim Oldroyd (an experienced local man), DS Andrew Carter (in his late twenties, who has been newly transferred to Yorkshire from the Met in London), and DS Stephanie Johnson (a local girl with a traumatic background). This case is specially perplexing as Atkins' body was found some two hours into the cave system, parts of which were extremely narrow. It would be VERY difficult to transport a body through the cave. Also, it would have been near impossible for one person to do this on their own. Many of the suspects they encounter in their investigations are experienced cavers, some of them are even on the cave rescue team. It would seem that local knowledge is the key to solving the case.  Motives are many, but HOW and by WHOM was Atkins murdered? MY THOUGHTS The police team in this novel were very engaging. The older, experienced DCI Oldroyd, the younger city man, Andrew Carter, and the attractive though troubled local girl, Stephanie Johnson. I enjoyed their interactions, and thought their characters were well-rounded. They came across as very 'real' people. As I mentioned earlier, the setting is one of my favourites. The Yorkshire Dales holds an endless fascination for me. The plotting was reminiscent of the traditional mysteries of Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, etc. This made a nice change from the more convoluted thriller plots I've been reading recently. Written like a perplexing puzzle, the novel appealed on that level as well - I can never ignore a good puzzle. The ending of this whodunit was tied up neatly. Nothing far-fetched, just believable, sound police work. The coppers displayed keen observational skills and some astute knowledge of human nature. To my knowledge, there are three novels featuring this police team and I intend to read them all. Recommended! I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Thomas & Mercer/AmazonUK publishing via NetGalley. This review is my way of saying thank-you. NOTE: This title was previously published under the title: "The Body in Jingling Pot".

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I enjoyed the audiobook in this first in J.R. Ellis' Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series. Narrated by Michael Page, who did well with the range of different voices and accents required for the male and female characters, including that of the local Yorkshireman DCI Jim Oldroyd, DS Stephanie Johnson and the new DS from the Met in London, Andy Carter. When the body of a local man, Dave Atkins is found deep in a cave called Jingling Pot, the question is not so much who would want to kill him, as how I enjoyed the audiobook in this first in J.R. Ellis' Yorkshire Murder Mysteries series. Narrated by Michael Page, who did well with the range of different voices and accents required for the male and female characters, including that of the local Yorkshireman DCI Jim Oldroyd, DS Stephanie Johnson and the new DS from the Met in London, Andy Carter. When the body of a local man, Dave Atkins is found deep in a cave called Jingling Pot, the question is not so much who would want to kill him, as how did he get there. Although, like many locals he was a keen caver, he was not wearing caving gear when he was found. He was unpopular in the village, owing money to many and involved in shady money making schemes, and had affairs with several women, so narrowing down the suspects would not be not an easy job. As well as the unfolding mystery, I enjoyed the history of caving and the exploration of caves and potholes on the Yorkshire Dales, as researched by Oldroyd in his quest for answers. The beautiful landscape is well described and the underground exploration is dark and atmospheric. The older, taciturn Oldroyd, a typical Yorkshireman made for a good contrast to the newcomer Andy Carter who was missing the bustle and nightlife of London but is perhaps ready for a change in his life. It looks like this is another series to add to my growing list of books to read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I tried it out - it seemed like a series I would like, but it lacked intelligence/humour. I liked the Yorkshire setting and the nature descriptions, limestone, caves, etc. But the people and dialogue lacked the spark I require. Kindle Unlimited

  7. 4 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    This murder mystery set in Yorkshire is the beginning of a new series featuring DI Oldroyd and his team. Originally titled “The Body in Jingling Pot”, it has recently been re-published as “The Body in the Dales”, a shame in my opinion as the former name has more character, stands out, and more accurately sums up what it’s about. At this point there are two more books to look forward to. A group of cavers discover a body deep underground in the Jingling Pot cave system. Clearly a murder, as the vi This murder mystery set in Yorkshire is the beginning of a new series featuring DI Oldroyd and his team. Originally titled “The Body in Jingling Pot”, it has recently been re-published as “The Body in the Dales”, a shame in my opinion as the former name has more character, stands out, and more accurately sums up what it’s about. At this point there are two more books to look forward to. A group of cavers discover a body deep underground in the Jingling Pot cave system. Clearly a murder, as the victim, an experienced caver himself, is not dressed for potholing and has been hit over the head, the police are perplexed as to why someone would carry a body so far, only to leave it in a populated caving route. DI Oldroyd, an old school detective, and his new DS, who recently moved from London and is finding his new environment a shock to the system, soon discover that the victim was highly unpopular in the village, being prone to seducing wives, swindling money and being an all-round selfish bastard. It seems like everyone has a motive, and many had the opportunity, so who did actually kill Dave Atkins, and why? This reminded me a lot of the early Peter Robinson books, and given this is the name of a minor character, I suspect this is not a coincidence. While a bit slow and with rather more information about the incomprehensible (to me) hobby of caving (which I had forgotten is known as potholing in England) than strictly necessary, this had good characters, a large cast of suspects and it was not obvious whodunnit. There is minimal swearing, violence and sex and the solution to the mystery relies on good old fashioned police work rather than forensics - Oldroyd fancies himself as a modern day Sherlock, or Poirot, and has their slightly annoying habit of keeping his deductions to himself until the big reveal - supposedly to help teach his juniors to think for themselves. I enjoyed this and will be reading the next ones soon, as I got them all for free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest reviews, so my thanks to the publisher, Amazon UK.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    5 stars A group of cave divers find a body about two hours into a cave. The man is wearing no climbing gear and was obviously not planning a climb. They know who the man is. DCI Jim Oldroyd and his new DS Andy Carter are called to the scene. They also work with DS Stephanie Johnson who is not at work that day. They learn the man was Dave Atkins and no one liked him much at all. They set about interviewing the locals immediately. The suspects are thick on the ground as the interviews show that mos 5 stars A group of cave divers find a body about two hours into a cave. The man is wearing no climbing gear and was obviously not planning a climb. They know who the man is. DCI Jim Oldroyd and his new DS Andy Carter are called to the scene. They also work with DS Stephanie Johnson who is not at work that day. They learn the man was Dave Atkins and no one liked him much at all. They set about interviewing the locals immediately. The suspects are thick on the ground as the interviews show that most people believe Atkins was a braggart, a loudmouth and a womanizer. Caver John Baxter phones Oldroyd up and wants to meet with him. He believes he knows who the killer is and how he got Atkins into the cave. When Oldroyd shows up at his home, he finds Baxter has been murdered. The interviews continue in light of the two murders that have now occurred. Oldroyd goes to an antique bookshop and picks up a very useful volume and pertinent to the investigation. The police seem to be getting nowhere when Steph finally recalls what it is that she couldn’t remember. Oldroyd has an answer and tells Steph, Andy, Craven and the others about his plan. In an exciting conclusion, including a car chase, the story is concluded. Ellis describes the beautiful countryside around Harrogate called the Dales. He speaks of an interesting and exciting cave climb with Oldroyd, Carter and Steph. I’ve read some about caving, but Ellis’ descriptions were complete and thrilling. Allison is Oldroyd’s sister and an Anglican priest, brilliant, fearless and Oldroyd’s Mycroft who plays a small role in this book. Hopefully, we shall see more of her in the future. Oldroyd’s team gets along remarkably well and they seem to love Oldroyd’s slightly eccentric personality. It is great fun to watch them and read about their exploits. I want to thank NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK/Thomas & Mercer for forwarding to me a copy of this great book to read, enjoy and review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    OK, I gave this book a really good try but just couldn't continue without wanting to scream. I am always on the look-out for an intelligently written mystery - especially one that takes place in England. So, I'm thinking this might be the start of a great series - NOT. I agree with many others about the characters that had no character! Every long chapter seemed to go on forever without anything really happening. OK, I gave this book a really good try but just couldn't continue without wanting to scream. I am always on the look-out for an intelligently written mystery - especially one that takes place in England. So, I'm thinking this might be the start of a great series - NOT. I agree with many others about the characters that had no character! Every long chapter seemed to go on forever without anything really happening.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Enjoyable police procedural / murder mystery set in a village in Yorkshire.

  11. 4 out of 5

    MsKingsPens

    A complete disappointment. All tell, no show (take a shot every time someone says/thinks about how great a detective Oldroyd is and you'll be blackout drunk by chapter 3). The characters were flat cliches living in a soap opera. The mystery was okay but took a backseat to the never interesting drama. A complete disappointment. All tell, no show (take a shot every time someone says/thinks about how great a detective Oldroyd is and you'll be blackout drunk by chapter 3). The characters were flat cliches living in a soap opera. The mystery was okay but took a backseat to the never interesting drama.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 stars. After having read several gritty thrillers over recent times, it was a pleasant respite to read a more traditional police-procedural mystery set in the countryside. The Body in the Dales brings to mind other country-based crime series, including Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series set in Northumberland, Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series, set in Yorkshire, and television series such as Heartbeat and Wycliffe. DS Andy Carter has just moved from the Met in London to join DCI Jim Old 3.5 stars. After having read several gritty thrillers over recent times, it was a pleasant respite to read a more traditional police-procedural mystery set in the countryside. The Body in the Dales brings to mind other country-based crime series, including Ann Cleeves's Vera Stanhope series set in Northumberland, Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series, set in Yorkshire, and television series such as Heartbeat and Wycliffe. DS Andy Carter has just moved from the Met in London to join DCI Jim Oldroyd's Harrogate-based team. On his first day on the job, Carter sets out with the DCI to the (fictional) village of Wharfedale, Yorkshire, after a call reporting that a body has been found in the nearby Jingling Pot pothole (cave). It doesn't take long for the detectives to determine that this wasn't an accidental death and that there is no clear explanation for how the body came to be present deep in the cave system. It also becomes apparent that there are plenty of people who could have wished the victim, local lothario and con-man Dave Atkins, harm. Oldroyd, Carter and DS Stephanie Johnson, aided by members of the local constabulary, begin interviewing the residents of the village and members of the local caving community, uncovering many jealousies, strained marriages and conflicting loyalties. As mysteries go, this was fairly light and easy to read. The plot wasn't overly complicated and the characters were engaging, particularly the deceptively sensitive and intelligent DCI Oldroyd. I enjoyed Ellis's depiction of the picturesque Yorkshire landscape and towns, and found the setting of the cave as a crime scene intriguing. The Body in the Dales may not meet the expectations of those who prefer gruesome crimes, particularly twisty plots or ingenious surprise endings, but would I believe appeal to readers who enjoy solid character-based crime mysteries in a unique setting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    The characters barely stretch to 2 dimensions & the plot is ludicrously implausible. 2 of the main police officers are supposed to be in their 20s but read as stolidly middle-aged. The author's disdain for tattoos and background as a teacher intrude into the story. The DCI is a Holmesian smart-arse who knows everything right away but doesn't bother telling anyone; doesn't prevent a second crime; doesn't share any of his suspicions or theories with anyone else & generally sits around drinking tea The characters barely stretch to 2 dimensions & the plot is ludicrously implausible. 2 of the main police officers are supposed to be in their 20s but read as stolidly middle-aged. The author's disdain for tattoos and background as a teacher intrude into the story. The DCI is a Holmesian smart-arse who knows everything right away but doesn't bother telling anyone; doesn't prevent a second crime; doesn't share any of his suspicions or theories with anyone else & generally sits around drinking tea instead of doing any actual police work. There's a cringe-inducingly awful romance that makes zero sense and people are repeatedly being described as clever or noticeably good at their jobs without any evidence to back up the author's claims. At one point, the cockney newbie wonders why characters so often conform to stereotype - gee I don't know, perhaps because this author can only write in cliches?

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    I was introduced to J.R. Ellis', "A Yorkshire Murder" mystery series through book number five in series, "The Nidderdale Murders". I was so taken by it, that I requested that my local library purchase this first book in series, which they have graciously done. Again, I was captivated by the brooding and unrelenting environment of the Yorkshire countryside which plays a strong role in this murder mystery. This time, its the circuitous cave systems deep below the surface which capture the imaginat I was introduced to J.R. Ellis', "A Yorkshire Murder" mystery series through book number five in series, "The Nidderdale Murders". I was so taken by it, that I requested that my local library purchase this first book in series, which they have graciously done. Again, I was captivated by the brooding and unrelenting environment of the Yorkshire countryside which plays a strong role in this murder mystery. This time, its the circuitous cave systems deep below the surface which capture the imagination. A body is found in one system, which has been dead a few days. Yet, cavers were just there a day or so ago and did not encounter it. How did it get there and who had it in for this unfortunate fellow? We soon learn that there are lots of folks with reasons to murder this wretched man. DCI James Oldroyd and his newly hired Detective Andrew Carter are soon on scene having been called out from the Harrogate Division of West Riding Police. Oldroyd is an old Oxford man who is deeply wedded to his job and the Yorkshire environs. He has a strong philosophical approach to his work and is highly respected. Carter recently left service in London but is soon taken under Oldroyd's wing. Ellis does a fine job of fleshing out the series of characters in this book, laying out well the personalities of the detectives who serve throughout the series as well as the players for this particular story. He also does an excellent job of painting a landscape such that the reader sees it as if standing by the characters in the book. Makes this reader want to visit and hike the dales. If a mystery set with country village charm appeals to you, then I highly commend this series to your reading pile.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    One of those murder mysteries that you're not quite sure about but ends up growing on you very much by the end of the novel. One of those murder mysteries that you're not quite sure about but ends up growing on you very much by the end of the novel.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vanessab

    Poorly written, two dimensional characters and uninspired descriptions of the Yorkshire Dales.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amina

    A highly enjoyable read. The plot is about a dead body found in an unlikely location, how did get there? The main characters are, Oldroyd, Andy and Steph are well developed, they have their own personalities and torments. I liked the way the investigation went, with all its clues, twists and turns, multiple supects and the way Oldroyd and its team reasoned to put the puzzle pieces in place.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hitessh Panchal

    This book is about Investigation of a death, that happens in a cave in a village in Yorkshire. The victim was hated by everyone in the village and the PD has a really tough time narrowing their suspect list. Written in Agathian style, DCI Jim Oldroyd always reminded me of Hercule Poirot. Lucid story telling, Quick paced(yes i did take time to finish this one, sue to hectic schedule), and a really good mystery. Some really out-of-box thinking with the plot. Book recommendations from Amina seldom fai This book is about Investigation of a death, that happens in a cave in a village in Yorkshire. The victim was hated by everyone in the village and the PD has a really tough time narrowing their suspect list. Written in Agathian style, DCI Jim Oldroyd always reminded me of Hercule Poirot. Lucid story telling, Quick paced(yes i did take time to finish this one, sue to hectic schedule), and a really good mystery. Some really out-of-box thinking with the plot. Book recommendations from Amina seldom fails. Thank you for this one Buddy. Loved it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    Ellis tells a good story. I like his plot structure - introducing us to the setting through a newcomer, who, though culturally “other”, is intelligent and professional. While the sexual, ‘bit-of-a-lad’ sub-plot is rather too sudden for my liking, I get the positioning in a series and hope it continues to be a minor plot. What I do like is the strong sense of place and the centrality of landscape and pursuits dependent on landscape to the plot. The characters are far from black and white, most wit Ellis tells a good story. I like his plot structure - introducing us to the setting through a newcomer, who, though culturally “other”, is intelligent and professional. While the sexual, ‘bit-of-a-lad’ sub-plot is rather too sudden for my liking, I get the positioning in a series and hope it continues to be a minor plot. What I do like is the strong sense of place and the centrality of landscape and pursuits dependent on landscape to the plot. The characters are far from black and white, most with things to hide or escape from, yet mostly with realisation of the cost of continuing to hide and escape. I will be interested to see where Ellis takes this series. It is promising. I’ll be disappointed if it does not develop and explore further both landscape and human choices.

  20. 4 out of 5

    AndrewP

    Apparently there is a whole sub-genre of English mysteries set in Yorkshire, and this book obviously fits into that category. A body is found in a pothole on the Yorkshire moors and, recently relocated from London, Detective Andy Carter finds himself on the case. The victim is a much despised member of the local community and it quickly becomes apparent that there's no shortage of suspects with ample motives. What makes it a mystery is how the body got deep in the cave system without any caving Apparently there is a whole sub-genre of English mysteries set in Yorkshire, and this book obviously fits into that category. A body is found in a pothole on the Yorkshire moors and, recently relocated from London, Detective Andy Carter finds himself on the case. The victim is a much despised member of the local community and it quickly becomes apparent that there's no shortage of suspects with ample motives. What makes it a mystery is how the body got deep in the cave system without any caving gear. Not a bad book overall and a decent start to a new series. (New to me that is.) I was not all that sold on the ending as there were several facts and details that cropped up right at the last minute. Storytelling was decent and contained enough of the that Yorkshire atmosphere that seems to make these books appealing. Obvious comparisons can be made to the DCI Banks novels, so if you have read any of those then this will be familiar. Nothing to make this outstanding, but then nothing I really disliked either. Worth continuing on with the series I think. FYI - This book was also published as 'The Body in Jingling Pot', which was probably the UK title.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John

    Read as "The Body In The Dales" As a police procedural, I found this book not bad at all. The police officers are personable and DCI Oldroyd is a very likeable and humane character. There is just enough of the personal lives of the police officers to add a bit of interest but not enough to take over the story which I find happens a lot in some of the modern stories and which I don't like. Lots of suspects and a few red herrings. The plot is quite interesting being set in an area of caving activit Read as "The Body In The Dales" As a police procedural, I found this book not bad at all. The police officers are personable and DCI Oldroyd is a very likeable and humane character. There is just enough of the personal lives of the police officers to add a bit of interest but not enough to take over the story which I find happens a lot in some of the modern stories and which I don't like. Lots of suspects and a few red herrings. The plot is quite interesting being set in an area of caving activity but the ending was a bit unsatisfactory, however, to say why would give the game away so I won't. Thanks to Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for a digital copy of this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keesa

    A murder victim nobody (including the readers....) liked or cared was dead. A series of cardboard cutout characters. Frequent references to Sherlock Holmes invited comparisons, all unfavorable to the current book. And tell, tell, tell. This book hd never heard of Show, Don't Tell. I got soooo tired of having every character's actions, thoughts, emotions, and personality spelled out for me. I like murder mysteries, and I wanted to like this one, but I. Did. Not. Not at all. A murder victim nobody (including the readers....) liked or cared was dead. A series of cardboard cutout characters. Frequent references to Sherlock Holmes invited comparisons, all unfavorable to the current book. And tell, tell, tell. This book hd never heard of Show, Don't Tell. I got soooo tired of having every character's actions, thoughts, emotions, and personality spelled out for me. I like murder mysteries, and I wanted to like this one, but I. Did. Not. Not at all.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    A boring disappointment The characters were boring and quite unlikable The story was unnecessarily long and flat. It could have got to the point so much quicker as there was nothing much really happening for 3/4 of it. If I could give it a 0 I would.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tweedledum

    For some reason I wasn’t expecting to really enjoy this book but I love Yorkshire and now live here. Hence I thought I would give it a try. Certainly slow to get started and I found the narrator a bit irritating at times... not keen on his female voices... but as the story got going I became riveted by the speleology sections. My brother, 10 years my senior took up pot-holing in his late 20’s and it became such a great passion that he ended up leading a junior caving club and taking the kids up For some reason I wasn’t expecting to really enjoy this book but I love Yorkshire and now live here. Hence I thought I would give it a try. Certainly slow to get started and I found the narrator a bit irritating at times... not keen on his female voices... but as the story got going I became riveted by the speleology sections. My brother, 10 years my senior took up pot-holing in his late 20’s and it became such a great passion that he ended up leading a junior caving club and taking the kids up to Yorkshire on group holidays from south east London. I was rather mystified by this enthusiasm and too preoccupied with my own life to pay more than a passing interest. I now know that he probably had Aspergers and that often made him strangely remotest a brother, but because of his passion for caving those young people all adored him. Sadly he died in his mid thirties so we never had the luxury of sharing a love of Yorkshire in all its grand variety. I feel that this book has very unexpectedly helped me appreciate a little the excitement and camaraderie of pot holing in a way that serious documentaries on the subject have not. And so in some mysterious way brought me a little closer to him. I’m looking forward to reading through the series now.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    So I agree with a lot of the reviews that the characters felt a little flat. Most of them were given pretty good backstories so maybe it was their dialogue - I'm not sure. My bigger problem though was the instant romance between two of the main characters that was also encouraged by their immediate supervisor. Maybe they do things differently in England, but that would be highly frowned on in the US. But I LOVED the setting that I thought the author really brought to life. The beauty of the Dale So I agree with a lot of the reviews that the characters felt a little flat. Most of them were given pretty good backstories so maybe it was their dialogue - I'm not sure. My bigger problem though was the instant romance between two of the main characters that was also encouraged by their immediate supervisor. Maybe they do things differently in England, but that would be highly frowned on in the US. But I LOVED the setting that I thought the author really brought to life. The beauty of the Dales, plus a bit of myth, the creepy caves and the small village atmosphere was everything I love to read about in a British mystery. And since the next in the series is just $0.99 I will definitely be reading on!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A unique mystery in the setting of the caves of Yorkshire. I really enjoyed the detectives, and most of all learning about the caving systems and unique underground landscape. I will be continuing with the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J.S. Strange

    This is the first book by J.R. Ellis in a murder mystery series. It was also the first book I’ve read digitally. I enjoyed the setting of the story, and thought that Ellis did really well in bringing Yorkshire to life. A setting is just as important as the characters, in my opinion, and I really enjoyed reading about what Yorkshire had to offer. And I loved the idea of something sinister happening in such a sleepy village. The story has a great premise. There are plenty of motives for the centra This is the first book by J.R. Ellis in a murder mystery series. It was also the first book I’ve read digitally. I enjoyed the setting of the story, and thought that Ellis did really well in bringing Yorkshire to life. A setting is just as important as the characters, in my opinion, and I really enjoyed reading about what Yorkshire had to offer. And I loved the idea of something sinister happening in such a sleepy village. The story has a great premise. There are plenty of motives for the central murder, and when another is killed, you begin to question if the first murder was just the beginning. There are characters that are suspicious all the way through, and the reveal, whilst not hugely surprising, is well explained and nicely thought out. I had a few issues with the backstories of characters. There seemed to be a lot of focus on characters childhoods, or issues they had faced years previously, which didn’t really help the plot. I also didn’t particularly like the character Oldroyd, who purposefully withheld information from both the reader and the characters. I suppose this was done for suspense, but it annoyed me. The author also peppers historic information throughout, some of which feel a little bit pointless. Jason, a minor character, got on my nerves. I don’t think this is particularly a negative fault of the writer; instead I think Ellis did a good job in making me not like Jason. He may be one dimensional, but I’ve met so many like him. It’s not impossible! I also had a few issues with Carter’s romantic links, which felt added for the necessity of romance, but maybe this will be developed in further books. This is definitely a Goodread, especially if you like your mysteries. There’s a reason it’s dominated the cosy mystery bestseller charts on Amazon!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Fantastic first in series! Fantastic first in series for Yorkshire murder mystery. I’ve only been once but the background was as I remembered which made the story that much more enjoyable. London copper Andy Carter transfers to the Dales for a change of pace and scenery and find himself in the literal depths of a murder his first day on the job. Very enjoyable and looking forward to the rest of the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine

    A very solid British police procedural set in the Yorkshire Dales. First of a series, the story follows the the investigation of a body found deep in one of the local cave systems, or "pothole." Lots of local and caving lore, plenty of suspects and an intriguing trio of detectives. The detective unit includes quirky Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd, local DS Stephanie Johnson, and a fresh-from-the-Met (London) DS Andrew Carter. Using a newcomer is a useful way to introduce the reader to the cha A very solid British police procedural set in the Yorkshire Dales. First of a series, the story follows the the investigation of a body found deep in one of the local cave systems, or "pothole." Lots of local and caving lore, plenty of suspects and an intriguing trio of detectives. The detective unit includes quirky Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd, local DS Stephanie Johnson, and a fresh-from-the-Met (London) DS Andrew Carter. Using a newcomer is a useful way to introduce the reader to the characters and the region, and is handled fluidly here. The initial murder is of a man so universally despised that the detectives think they will never be able to narrow the list of suspects down. There is no new mystery ground covered here, just a very solid, interesting mystery with fairly engaging characters. All the detectives like to keep their theories close to their breasts, which can get a bit annoying as a blatant attempt for suspense, but all three are intelligent and engaging. An absorbing, though not riveting, read. My copy was an ARC from NetGalley.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen

    The Body in the Dales is the first in a series of police procedurals set in the Yorkshire Dales. A body is found in one of the series of caves often explored by cavers, and although it’s clearly a murder, the even more pressing question is how the body ended up there. DCI Oldroyd, DS Carter and DS Johnson discover that there’s no lack of people who hated Dave Atkins, a shifty cheat with money and with men’s wives. The premise of the mystery is eye-catching, and the characters of Oldroyd, Carter, The Body in the Dales is the first in a series of police procedurals set in the Yorkshire Dales. A body is found in one of the series of caves often explored by cavers, and although it’s clearly a murder, the even more pressing question is how the body ended up there. DCI Oldroyd, DS Carter and DS Johnson discover that there’s no lack of people who hated Dave Atkins, a shifty cheat with money and with men’s wives. The premise of the mystery is eye-catching, and the characters of Oldroyd, Carter, and Johnson—as well as several minor characters, like Alison, Oldroyd’s sister, are developed and sympathetic. The plot tended to plod a bit in spots, too much backstory in parts, too much explanation in others. Readers can surmise characters’ feelings and motivations without being explicitly told what they are. The likability of the characters and the evocative descriptions of Yorkshire are the strengths of this first in a series. An entertaining read.

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