The mayor of a small Czech town of Vinice is found dead in his wine cellar on the night of his birthday. Police detectives Jana Dvorska and Ivan Dambersky are assigned to document the apparent death of the mayor due to a heart attack. But as all mysteries go and Clare Blanchard’s “The Tainted Village” is no stranger to this, it wasn’t a heart attack, but murder.
Dvorska quickly learns that Slansky the mayor that the mayor had been injected with a substance between the toes and this turns out to be a fact that the medical examiner seems to overlook. Dvorska and Dambersky now set out to investigate a murder that no one wants solved.
“The Tainted Village” is a classic mystery where we learn more and more about Slansky’s duplicitous lives and the suspect pool begins to grow with every chapter instead of shrink. A frustrating part of “The Tainted Village” was how Blanchard drove the story along by plot rather than character which had me several times wondering about a character’s motivation for their actions and words. However, I did enjoy Dambersky as a character who the reader didn’t know where he’d end up going. If this type of Golden Age mystery is your thing, you might enjoy “The Tainted Village”. I’m not one for cozies and Blanchard’s book did not convert me.
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