The first in the Martha Gunn series, in which she is a very inquisitive coroner in England along the Wales border. Masters does a great job with the setting along the River Severn in Shrewsbury, helping me escape completely into the book. The characterization is terrific, and Martha Gunn is a very appealing sleuth. She's a widow of nearly 10 years, raising her twins with the help of a Swedish au pair. Throughout the book, she is very human, dealing with personal issues and relationships, as she tries to solve, from the sidelines, a confusing series of murders that are unearthed by the flooding river. As a coroner she has a reason to be involved and a connection with the police, but she goes beyond her official role because of her curiosity. There is a thread of the story that is not resolved, and perhaps that is so that it can continue throughout the series. But since I wanted it resolved, that's what keeps this a 4.5 and not a 5. Loved the book, and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next in the series, "Slipknot."