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Diana's Altar: A Joe Sandilands Investigation    by Barbara Cleverly order for
Diana's Altar
by Barbara Cleverly
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's another spellbinding, meticulously researched suspense novel featuring Scotland Yard's Joe Sandilands. The action centers on Cambridge in the early 1930s. Joe and his lover, physician Adelaide Hartest, join forces in what appears to be the suicide of one of Joe's friends in a Cambridge church on All Hallows Eve.

That death (combined with the demise of a young housekeeper at a local wealthy estate on the same night) calls for an investigation that will have far reaching consequences. At the center of the case is the university's Cavendish Laboratory where hush-hush experiments are being conducted that could change the balance of international power. Plunged into a world of scientists and some of the movers and shakers in the research community and government, Joe may well have a ticklish international situation on his hands that could have repercussions throughout Western Europe.

One of Barbara Cleverly's more complex plots, Diana's Altar is a legitimate page turner and a novel that will delight all the author's ardent fans and create new readers as well. It won't take long to become totally engrossed in this story line and once that happens you'll find it difficult to set this book down.

The only curious aspect of this work is the humdrum, rather nondescript cover that the book sports. It took a while for me to separate this reader's copy from the pile it was sitting in because the cover was so blah. Had I skipped over the novel completely, that would have been a shame because it was a very entertaining read and one I thoroughly enjoyed!

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