A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George

‘A Banquet of Consequences’ is the 19th Inspector Linley novel by Elizabeth George. The previous novel in the series ‘Just One Evil Act’ was getting back towards the best (after a bit of a slump in the series), but this one is definitely back to the best, both in terms of an excellent mystery and great characters.

DS Barbara Havers is being watched very closely by her boss Isabelle Ardery. She’s been in serious trouble and is now under the threat of being transferred. But all her good behaviour has removed the spark that has made her such an excellent cop.

Police secretary Dorothea Harriman decides that Havers needs a love interest to enable her to function at her best. Much to Havers horror, Dorothea sets about looking after Havers social life.

When a woman that Havers has met is murdered, she begs DI Thomas Linley to intervene on her behalf so that she can take the case. Eventually Havers and fellow DS Winston Nkata are off to Shaftsbury to investigate the murder of Claire Abbot, along with the poisoning of one of her colleagues, while Linley looks after the London end of the case.

Havers needs to solve the case to prove herself to Ardery and approaches it with most of her usual gusto – while managing (just) to stay within the rules.

With Ardery imposing a deadline (and hoping for Havers to fail), Havers and Nkata solve the case to their satisfaction just in time.


There was an intricate web of dysfunctional relationships throughout this story. Just about every character seemed to be grappling with some sort of relationship problem.

I spent most of the book hoping for the reappearance of the Italian policeman Salvatore who Havers met in the previous book.

The only character I didn’t enjoy was Linley’s love interest Daidre. I found myself hoping that the relationship would fail and Linley would move on.

With the quality of this novel, I think I could go on reading this series forever. So, I very much look forward to the next instalment – ‘The Punishment She Deserves‘.


Book Published 2015


See a full list of books by Elizabeth George

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