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Rainstone Fall    by Peter Helton order for
Rainstone Fall
by Peter Helton
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Here is another enjoyable mystery from England's Peter Helton. Born in Germany and dividing his time now between painting and writing, Helton lives near Bath, England, the hometown of his fictional protagonist Chris Honeysett.

With his two previous Honeysett novels having been favorably received by critics and readers, Helton now gives readers Honeysett's best adventure yet in Rainstone Fall.

As a painter (like his dual-career creator), Honeysett (unlike his dual-career creator) supplements his artist's income as the owner-operator of Aqua Investigations (with its two employees). Money is in desperately short supply when Rainstone Fall begins, and the decaying roof of his home needs repairs, so Honeysett finds himself agreeing to almost any investigative job that comes along.

Thus, he reluctantly takes on the job of spying on a suspected insurance scam-artist. Even though it involves earning some much needed cash, as Honeysett sees it, life couldn't get much more boring than doing a stake-out on someone who seems to be truly injured and hurting. But then the problems for Honeysett suddenly begin to accumulate, and everything gets extremely complicated - and really dangerous.

Honeysett's aging car is stolen (which annoys him), the police question the artist-sleuth about a dead body (which amuses him until he realizes he might be a suspect), a woman's son is kidnapped (which baffles him because of the kidnapper's peculiar demands), Honeysett crosses paths with a reputed witch (which thoroughly entertains him), a love triangle spins out of control (which really throws him completely off balance), Honeysett finds himself uncomfortably involved in the burglary of a house owned by a very dangerous man (which Honeysett actually enjoys), and - slow to realize the complex connections between everything that seems to be now happening in his life - Honeysett and his two friends (as assistant sleuths) find themselves in desperate straits in which all sorts of criminals and crimes are involved. Perhaps, Honeysett begins to think, living in poverty as an artist has had its advantages. At least danger and death were not constant companions.

Filled to overflowing with fun and surprises, and made more colorful by the sarcastic commentary of the narrator-protagonist, Rainstone Fall further advances Peter Helton's growing reputation as a skilled craftsman of entertaining mysteries.

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