Detective Sergeant Wesley Petersen is the creation of Kate Ellis. With a first-class honors degree in archaeology—the highest level degree awarded, indicating high academic achievement and ability, Wesley Petersen is a young but seasoned and experienced police detective of Afro-Caribbean heritage. Married to a school-teacher, he is a member of a three-detective team headed up by DI Jerry Heffernan in the port town of Tradmouth, England in the South Hams area of Devon.
The Bone Garden, the fifth book in the series, is a fun, entertaining, and totally engrossing read. A superb British police procedural with an archeological mystery sub-plot, it opens at Earlsacre Manor where archeologists are excavating to restore a late 17th-century Devon garden.
The estate has recently been sold to a charitable trust which is turning it into an art center. All’s well until the archeologists unearth the remains of a young woman, buried alive 300 years before beneath a sundial erected in the original garden. Tradmouth CID is called in. DS Peterson, intrigued by the find, wants to learn who the woman was and why she died so horrible a death in the garden, but a young man is found stabbed to death in a rented trailer and Peterson must find out who he is and why he had a newspaper clipping about the excavation and restoration work at Earlsacre.
The plot thickens when a local solicitor, who had set up a meeting with Peterson, is found dead at Earlsacre and a second skeleton is unearthed in the garden. Tightly woven, the two mysteries—historical and present-day—blend seamlessly.
Note: If you are new to this series, as I was, The Bone Garden works well as a stand-alone. Kate Ellis’s Wesley Petersen’s mysteries will definitely be in my TBR pile.