Ruined Stones (Poisoned Pen Press, July 2017) is our second Grace Baxter mystery. While this novel is set during December 1941 in Newcastle on Tyne, England, Grace was introduced last year in The Guardian Stones. At the time she still lived in her home village of Noddweir in Shropshire but now she is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Police Force and has relocated to the city to work in a small police station headquartered in a former shop on the corner of a terraced street.
We write in a lean fashion, so the opening chapter of Ruined Stones occupies less than two pages. Even so it introduces two characters. The thoughts of the first reveal something of her history and hopes as Christmas nears. We also provide indications of social attitudes and physical conditions in the city, concluding with the cliff-hanging arrival of the second character.