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Missing Persons Case or Murder

Crooked Street

A Joanna Piercy police procedural

by Priscilla Masters

Severn House Publishers

Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Dated: 01 Feb 2017


Crooked Street was a mystery far different than I expected, but I liked it. When a young husband disappears it quickly becomes clear that his perfect life is a lie. Instead of working as an executive accountant, Jadon runs a payday lending firm. It is the kind of business that destroys lives. Desperate people borrow money, and the exorbitant interest rates make it impossible to repay. But so many people having a motive doesn't help when the body is nowhere to be found. The second death is practically a gift to the reader and to Piercy and her team - otherwise they never would have found the killer.

The part of the novel that doesn't fit are the chapters about an elderly woman moving from her remote cottage into a care facility. She has no connection to any of the characters or events apart from her cottage being a place to dump the body. Masters puts a lot of effort into developing her character - far more than necessary or expected based on her role in the book. I also find it a little implausible that the murderer found her cottage while walking a friend's dog. What town dweller walks a friend's dog into the middle of nowhere - and I mean many miles from civilization.

Where Masters is at her best is in her characterizations of Piercy and her team. They are the most developed characters in the novel. This is to be expected and is a redeeming factor. The novel is well written, but its flaws are a distraction. I'm definitely willing to try another book by Priscilla Masters, but I can't rate this one higher.


I received a copy of Crooked Street from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.



Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy investigates the disappearance of a young husband – and discovers all is not as it seems.

Jadon Glover is good-looking, professional, reliable and a perfect husband, according to his wife. So when he fails to return home one miserable March night, she rings the police, certain that something has happened to him. DI Joanna Piercy and DS Mike Korpanski are sceptical: there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. So what is the truth about Jadon?

As the investigation proceeds, it soon becomes apparent that Jadon Glover has been keeping dark secrets from his wife. And as the police pursue their house-to-house enquiries through the claustrophobic, jumbled streets of cramped Victorian terraces, they unearth other secrets from behind the net curtains. But, whatever else has been going on among the inhabitants’ quiet, desperate lives, it’s clear that at least one of them knows what really happened to Jadon …

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