A Fatal Secret

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 6 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

I have been a fan of Faith’s books for a couple of years now. I have read each and every book that she has released via Joffe Books and via HQ. My favourite series written by Faith is the series featuring Detective Inspector Hilary Greene although the series featuring Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary Woman Police Constable Trudy Loveday is a close second. ‘A Fatal Secret’ is the latest book in the Ryder and Loveday series and it was released a few days ago. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Fatal Secret’ but more about that in a bit.
What can I say about Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary Woman Police Officer Trudy Loveday? At face value they are a bit of an odd pairing. Ryder is a distinguished older gentleman, who has been the area’s Coroner for a fair while now. It’s a role that he enjoys and he finds extremely interesting. Ryder has a way of getting people to talk and to extract information from them without them realising what he is doing. Ryder treats everybody the same irrespective of their social standing. Ryder is determined to get to the truth no matter what obstacles are placed in his way. Ryder has a soft spot for Loveday and he has worked with her a few times now. Both of them work really well together and there is a lot of mutual respect going on. Ryder knows that Loveday doesn’t exactly have it easy with her other police colleagues but when they work together Ryder allows Loveday a chance to shine and to reach her full potential. Loveday is full of youthful enthusiasm. She throws herself into her work and endeavours to do the best she can. She knows that she is looked down on by several of her colleagues and she is given the crappy jobs to do but she doesn’t let it get her down. Loveday is feisty, determined, stubborn, compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. Both come across as slightly rebellious and I could definitely see why they got on with each other as well as they do. I loved the Ryder and Loveday partnership and I felt as though I was reuniting with old friends whilst reading this book. In fact, I felt as though I was the invisible third member of their gang or team.
It didn’t take me long at all to get into this book. As I mention above, I felt as though I was reuniting with old friends in Ryder and Loveday. As soon as I began to read, that was it. I just knew that I would not be able to put the book down and so it proved to be. I picked the book up only intending to read a couple of chapters and the first time I looked up to check how long I had been reading for, I was staggered to learn that I had actually been reading for a couple of hours and I had read a lot more than a couple of chapters. I just couldn’t put the book down. The book wasn’t glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. The book had definitely developed a hold over me and I didn’t want to break that hold.   Plus I didn’t want to miss a single second of the story as I feared missing some vital clue or a crucial piece of gossip. As a result of this addiction to ‘A Fatal Secret’ , I finished the book far quicker than I had anticipated- within 24 hours in fact.
‘A Fatal Secret’ is well written but then all of Faith’s books are well written. She certainly knows how to grab your attention from the start and she keeps that attention throughout the book by keeping the story fresh and the characters interesting. Faith writes so realistically and she uses such vivid descriptions that I really did feel as though I was part of the story myself. I even found that I was trying to interact with the book in the sense that I was ‘talking’ to the characters as if they could hear me. I know it’s not real but if I enjoy a book to the extent that I enjoyed this one then I tend to ‘live’ the story as if it were real.
‘A Fatal Secret’ is a cozy sort of mystery, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I would definitely recommend this book, this series and the rest of Faith’s books to other readers.   The Ryder and Loveday series just goes from strength to strength. I can’t wait to read the next case in the Ryder and Loveday series. Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Was this review helpful?
Faith Martin has written very many great mysteries but some of my favorite ones are these Ryder and Loveday stories.  These two characters have grown into an outstanding investigative team while still managing to find themselves running for cover at times.  While this is the 4th in the series, each story is unique and written so as to have a beginning and ending that will satisfy your craving to see justice done.  Investing the time to read the first books will give you more background on the characters and their community but is not necessary to keep up with the story.  BUT, treat yourself and read all four books....you will be a Faith Martin fan for life!
Was this review helpful?
A chilling and exceptional mystery that was exquisitely detailed . Features top notch dialogue ! I highly recommend ! Thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for the opportunity to read and review this book ! #Netgalley #HQDigital #AFatalSecret
Was this review helpful?
Faith Martin is a new author to me and I just love finding new author's books to read. So when a new author came up on Netgalley to read and review I jumped at the chance to it. 
A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin was just Brilliant. I read it in two sittings and I am hooked on her books now. It wont be the last one I will read from her. 
This book is the fourth book in the Ryder & Loveday Mystery series, however, I found you can read it as a stand alone book but I will go back and purchase her other books in the great series. 

I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Another enjoyable read from Faith Martin.  Set in the 1960s the story features Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday and Coroner Clement Ryder.  A young boy disappears during the annual Easter egg hunt at Briars Hall.  His body is found in a disused well in the grounds and it seems to be a tragic accident.  The boy’s family are not convinced and the Coroner is asked to look into the circumstances surrounding his death, ably assisted by Trudy.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 4th in series . Thank you to Net Galley and to the publisher for the opportunity. 
I have read the previous in series and enjoyed the entire series. The author has a talent for writing a gripping mystery that holds the reader entranced until the last page. This was my favorite in series and I highly recommend this for your reading enjoyment. 

I loved the setting of 1960's Britain and good old fashioned crime solving techniques prior to technology. 
The detectives are an unlikely  pair – Trudy Loveday is a young probationary Woman Police Constable   and Clement Ryder is a retired surgeon who is now the county coroner. They have a friendship and working relationship based on respect and together they do well at solving their current mystery. 

This is another enjoyable read in this beloved series I appreciate the author's attention to detail and the well crafted sleuth and fantastic likable charcters. Very well done..
Was this review helpful?
A Fatal Secret is the fourth book in Faith Martin’s excellent Ryder and Loveday mystery series (the earlier books being A Fatal Obsession, A Fatal Mistake and A Fatal Flaw). Her detectives are an unusual pair – Trudy Loveday is a young probationary Woman Police Constable (WPC), while Clement Ryder is a retired surgeon turned coroner – who have a charming and undeniably effective working relationship. The series is set during the 1960s, which means that their investigations follow a decidedly different process to contemporary criminal cases (for example, conducting research in the public library and biking to the crime scene) and also allows Martin to explore a number of interesting social issues in addition to the central crime (for instance, WPCs are not dispatched to any potentially unpleasant or distasteful crimes).

Ryder and Loveday’s latest case starts with the disappearance of a young boy. Eleven-year-old Eddie Proctor was last seen taking part in an Easter egg hunt in the grounds of Briar’s Hall in Briar’s-in-the-Wold, a village on the outskirts of Oxford. WPC Loveday and her fellow officers are dispatched to help look for the boy, but their search ends in tragedy when they find his body at the bottom of a well in a nearby orchard. The boy’s death is ruled to be an accident but his father isn’t satisfied with that finding – Eddie was a sensible lad who happened to be scared of heights; he wouldn’t have been messing around near the top of a well. Vincent Procter asks his boss, Martin de Lacey, owner of Briar’s Hall, if anything further can be done to look into Eddie’s death and, in turn, Martin de Lacey asks his good friend the chief constable for help.

The chief constable knows just who to turn to in a sensitive case such as this: Clement Ryder, a coroner with a knack for solving crimes that the police consider to be unsolvable. Ryder jumps at the chance to investigate Eddie’s death and requests that WPC Loveday be released from her normal duties so that she can assist him. Loveday’s boss, DI Jennings, doesn’t know whether to be pleased to be rid of her for a few days or annoyed that Ryder is interfering in police matters again, but he can’t argue with the will of the chief constable, so Ryder’s request is granted. Ryder and Loveday head to Briar’s Hall to investigate, troubled by the knowledge that if Eddie’s death wasn’t an accident, then is must have been murder. But who would want to kill the young boy? Is it possible that he stumbled on a secret that someone was desperate to keep? They have a horrible feeling that the case is going to prove both difficult and tragic.

A Fatal Secret is another intriguing case that would have quickly fallen off the police radar if not for the intervention of Ryder and Loveday (with a little prompting from concerned members of the public, of course). Although the signs do point to Eddie’s death having been an accident, there is still something decidedly odd about the whole business, and their initial investigations in both the village and the big house suggest to Ryder and Loveday that there a number of dodgy dealings going down in Briar’s-in-the-Wold. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that there are a fair few potential suspects for them to pursue in the village, even if they are still unsure exactly what Eddie might have discovered that could have led to his murder. Martin de Lacey has told his family and his servants to cooperate with the investigation, but it seems that many of them have secrets to hide. Ryder and Loveday are going to have to work their way through plenty of red herrings before they get close to the truth.

Although it is the fourth book in the series, A Fatal Secret can certainly be read as a standalone story. The mystery surrounding Eddie’s death can be enjoyed (and solved) without prior knowledge of the series, but certain issues do unfold concerning the characters of Ryder and Loveday and their working relationship that relate back to the earlier books, especially in terms of Ryder’s health and Loveday’s struggle to balance her professional life with her personal life. Saying that, Faith Martin provides enough clues and information regarding past events that readers new to the series shouldn’t become confused. This fourth outing actually feels like a particularly important stage in the evolution of Ryder and Loveday as a detective duo – they both arrive at important personal realisations over the course of their investigation and they are both forced to recognise the limits of their abilities with regards to bringing criminals to justice.

At the heart of A Fatal Secret is an intriguing mystery featuring plenty of twists and turns, and Martin has managed to work in a good number of suspicious characters and potential motives for murder. Ryder and Loveday continue to work really well together and it is a pleasure to follow their investigation, although it’s also a bit of a concern that secrets might be pushing them apart somewhat. It will certainly be interesting to see what the next book in the series has in store for them.
Was this review helpful?
This is the second Ryder and Loveday historical crime mystery I've read. Although the mysteries are standalone, the relationship between the two unusual detectives develops with each book. So, if you get the opportunity, start with book one.

Clement Ryder, former surgeon, now coroner, and Trudy Loveday, a probationary policewoman in the Oxford constabulary, in the early 1960s investigate cases referred to Ryder by various powerful sources. After their first meeting, Ryder sees the intelligence and potential detecting skill in Loveday, and always requests her assistance, despite the resistance of her misogynous bosses in the police force. 

Loveday, is ambitious, intuitive and hard-working, the perfect police officer, yet in the 1960's she is thwarted every time she seeks practical experience in police work, by jealous and bigoted colleagues and bosses. Their attitude to a working woman reflects the societal view of women in the workplace, and society. The idea of the 1950's woman as a homemaker was challenged in the 1960s by women like Loveday and forward-thinking intelligent men like Ryder. The book showcases 1960s' society and attitude well. I was a child in the 1960s, and recognise many of the attitudes and societal norms portrayed in this series, which is well- researched.

The plot is in the murder mystery style, nothing too graphic, although serious crime and issues are explored throughout the investigation. There are many suspects and numerous clues, many of which lead nowhere. The pacing is good, even though you follow Ryder and Loveday's investigative pace. This is detective work in the 1960s, so forensics and technological help are minimal. Deduction and observation are key skills used here, and it makes interesting reading.

 Perfect if you're a fan of 'Inspector Gently', 'Morse' and 'Prime Suspect. This series explores policing in the 1960s, with a unique partnership, astute observations of 1960's society, and a well-plotted murder mystery. 

I received a copy of this book from HQ Digital UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
April 1961 and the police are called out to Briar's Hall. An Easter Hunt in the grounds for the local children has resulted in one boy - Eddie Proctor - gone missing. Unfortunately his body is discovered. His father unhappy with the Coroner's verdict asks the Squire to intervene, resulting in Dr Clement Ryder and probationary WPC Trudy Loveday investigating. What secrets with they uncover, but what about the personal lives of Ryder and Loveday.
The book is easily read as a standalone story but I would recommend the whole series.
Another enjoyable well-written mystery in this delightful series, with its very likeable main two characters.
Was this review helpful?
I've loved Faith Martin's books and this new Ryder & Loveday mystery doesn't disappoint.  It gives a good background into life in the police force in the 60's, in fact life in the 60's for most women who were simply regarded as typists or shop assistants.  Heaven forbid they had a brain and some ambition.  

I love the developing relationship between the characters, not romantic given the age gap but caring and respectful as you'd expect given the time it's set in.   The mysteries are more cozy than gruesome and it's a good read that doesn't challenge but keeps you interested.   

Although it would be an ok stand alone book I think it best to read the series to get an understanding of the relationship and background.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank Netgalley and HQ Digital for an advance copy of A Fatal Secret, the fourth novel set in early 1960s Oxford to feature WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Dr Clement Ryder.

When 11 year old Eddie Proctor is found at the bottom of a Well with a broken neck Coroner Dr Clement Ryder has no option but to declare his death an accident, until the well’s owner, local squire Martin de Lacey, asks Ryder to take a closer look.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Fatal Secret which has a good mystery at its heart, well drawn characters and a good insight into the preoccupations of the era. The novel is told from various points of view but doesn’t seem choppy as is often the case, rather it gives the reader a wider view of events and as it concentrates mostly on Ryder and Loveday a better understanding of their characters. The mystery of the who and why is kept well hidden, even from our plucky protagonists, so it makes for an absorbing read. The tone is light and fairly cozy but it doesn’t shy away from some of the more sordid aspects of the Cold War that was a high priority at the time. (I can’t say more than that without spoilers). It is well done, covering all the salient points without labouring them or passing judgement. It is amusing to modern readers but no laughing matter at the time.

Loveday and Ryder are great characters whom I’m really coming to love as the series progresses. Ryder is smart, educated and worldly wise but hiding a life changing illness. Trudy Loveday is the star. As a probationary Woman Police Officer she has no status in the force but her association with Ryder gives her self esteem. What I really like about her portrayal is the way the mores of the time are reflected in her character. Her mum and dad want her to get married and give up her job which was the norm at the time but she’s ambitious and determined to get on - I’d love to read about her ten or twenty years down the line to see if she succeeded. The highlight of the novel for her parents is the chance to rent their first television! It’s a different, more naïve world.

A Fatal Secret is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for the ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

This is the fourth in the Ryan and Loveday series, which centres around the unusual pairing of women’s probationary constable Trudy Loveday, from a working-class family and Dr. Clement Ryder, a retired surgeon who now works as a coroner. It is set in the ‘60’s, and gives an insight into the place of women in society and the police force, at that time. It is refreshing to read a police procedural with no slashing, blood and guts or profanity investigated without mobile communication, databases and the internet. Relying more on sifting through police records and research at the local library. Cycling around the villages as there were very few cars.

Over the series the bond between Trudy and Clement is growing stronger. He doesn't treat her as a woman who should be pursuing a husband, not a career, and he respects her opinions. Whereas this book could be read as a standalone, I suggest that they are read in order, so you get the benefit of the excellent character development between these 2 as well as the progression of Dr Clements Parkinson’s Disease.

Trudy has her own personal dilemmas, as she is getting closer to the end of her probationary period. And her parents, while pleased with her achievements are trying to persuade her to leave the dangerous field of police work, and settle down with a nice man, preferably one of the neighbour’s boys.

Personally, this was the best of the series so far, all excellent with a slight dip with the third book.  With this book, I was hooked from page one. It is very well written, and I look forward to the fifth book.
Was this review helpful?
This has the potential to be Faith Martin's good new series. Set in the early sixties, it is the story of the first female WPC Trudy Loveday, her mentor, a famous former Surgeon, now the head Coroner for Oxford. The problem is, this has already been done and made famous on the BBC. I liked the Mystery, somewhat. I do not like the killing of children stories, real, or imagined. The story is very well written, good depth to both new characters, her parents seem very credible, in fact, too credible! I enjoyed the story, sad that is not an original scenario. Other than that, worth reading.
I recommend! Thank you Netgalley
Was this review helpful?
This is my first Ryder and Loveday book, and it’s a great mystery. Eddie is a wonderful character, and Ryder and Loveday are a good team. Ryder’s description of his Parkinson’s self diagnosis is very interesting.

An 11 year old boy is missing after an Easter Egg hunt and found dead at the bottom of a well. Although the court determines it is an accident, the father asks the Squire who asks the DI to investigate. The Coroner, Dr. Ryder agrees to investigate with the help of Provisional DCI Trudy Loveday.

They interview several people and find several things to make them unsure of an accident. The Squire’s cousin is a nuclear physicist. The special branch go to the police and demand they stop the investigation. They make one last trip to Briar’s Hall to tell the Squire they have to quit. Since the Squire isn’t home, they begin to walk around the park. Even though they aren’t investigating, they solve the case!
Was this review helpful?
This was a really enjoyable book. I usually don't read British thrillers but that's what makes it exciting to read. The setting was amazing and I loved everything about this book. 

Thank you Netgalley, the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I find the concept of the Ryder & Loveday Mystery Series to be very original, and I enjoyed this 4th book as much as the previous ones. What sets this series apart is that it takes place in the early 1960's in Great Britain and features a former surgeon. Clement Ryder, who is in the early stages of Parkinson's Disease. He doesn't want anyone to know that he suffers from this, but knows he has to change careers, so becomes a Coroner. He meets nineteen year old Probationary Woman Police Constable Trudy Lovejoy, and soon begins to send requests to her obnoxious supervisor for her assistance in resolving some cases. Coroner Ryder teaches her quite a bit, and is about the only person she comes across who respects her career choice and her ability. The two make a very unlikely, yet brilliant, team.

In this latest installment, a young boy is found dead at the bottom of the well, and the coroner soon determines that it was no accident. Once again, he requests approval for Trudy's assistance. She is thrilled to get out of her regular, boring tasks and spend some time again with Clement Ryder on an actual investigation. The two have challenges ahead in solving this one.

Fans of British mysteries should enjoy this book, as well as the earlier ones in the series. If you are already a fan of this series, you will want to read this one.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy.
Was this review helpful?
Another good entry in the Loveday/Ryder series from Faith Martin. The friendship between the older coroner and the young WPC continues to evolve, although young Trudy is keeping a secret.
Was this review helpful?
This is the 4 book in the Ryder and Loveday series and once again it did not disappoint.

Its Easter and the village children have been invited to an Easter Egg hunt to be held in the grounds of Briars Hall.
A young village boy Eddie Proctor, special friend of the owners daughter, goes missing. 
Poor Eddies body is discovered at the bottom of a disused well.
Dr Clement Ryder presided over the inquest and although it appears to have been a tragic accident when the squire and owner of Briars Hall asks him as a favour to himself and the childs father to investigate further the circumstances that led to Eddies death he naturally calls for Wpc Trudy Loveday to assist him.
Throughout the course of their investigations it seems there are lots of people with secrets they`d rather keep hidden.
As Ryder and Loveday sift through all the clues and secrets to discover the truth they unearth a lot more than they could have imagined.
This is a well written plot, plenty clues for the reader to follow and of course the developing relationship between the two main characters.
A real feel of nostalgia about the team of Ryder and Loveday and their crime solving partnership.
An excellent read that left me looking forward to the next in the series. 
Many thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for the chance to read this as an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
When a young boy goes missing during an Easter hunt and his body is later found at the bottom of a well, Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday team up once again to try to find the truth. Was it a tragic accident or was it murder?

In this 4th installment in the Ryder & Loveday series we get to know a little bit more about Trudy's private life, her relationship with her parents, what they expect of her, their opinion about her work in the police and her frustation about being "practically nothing more than a glorified clerk". The author does a good job portraying the role of women at the time, what was expected of them at home and at work, and Trudy's rebellion against that.

What I particularly like about this series is the relationship between Ryder and Loveday, because he never treats her as his superior, but as an equal, seeing her, in spite of her youth, as a woman able to do anything she sets her mind on.

As Trudy herself did, I found the ending a little bit unsatisfying as, in her own words, "the answer had just been thrust upon them"
Was this review helpful?
First book I've read by this author.  A murder mystery at its best.  Trudy is a new police officer in England.  And of course she's a woman and that just makes everything more difficult because she is the only women in their precinct and not really on her bosses good side.  Her parent's never wanted her to become an officer and it hasn't helped her love life either.  But she's friends with the coroner and they are asked to investigate the death of a young boy who fell down an empty well and died.  Its a neat story and I enjoyed the characters and it was in England in the 60's and that gave it another twist.
Was this review helpful?