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LANE WINSLOW

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Full Name: Lane Winslow
Nationality: British
Organization: British Intelligence
Occupation Former Agent

Creator: Iona Whishaw
Time Span: 2015 - 2023

ABOUT THE SERIES

Lanette 'Lane' Winslow is a former agent with British Intelligence.

By former I am meaning she has only recently, with the conclusion of the Second World War and its immediate constant need of her talents, said goodbye to the extremely long hours and the unremitting stress she had put upon herself to serve to the best of her abilities. She had even gone one huge step further than just submitting her resignation; she had taken a good deal of what money she had to her name and purchased a very nice albeit old-ish house beside a small lake in King's Cove, British Columbria, Canada. It was as far from the shared flat in London she had known for too long that she could imagine and she was very happy.

Winslow is still a young woman by most people's standards. She had been 19 when the War started in 1939 and had immediately signed up to help with Intelligence work and had stayed committed to that for the next 7 years, putting her at 26 years of age when we meet her. She is quite single and not the least bit concerned about it since she had allowed herself no time for romance when there was always too much work to be done. Now the work was over and the pressure blessedly gone and though she had no immediate plans other than setting up her own house, she was still concerned about anything else.

[Note here that her lack of concern extends to the fact that the house she just bought was said to be haunted by the spirit of the previous owner, Lady Armstrong, said haunting repeatedly testified to by the late woman's grown son and daughter-in-law.]

Normally a series of adventures, especially those dealing with solving murders in a smallish community, would not warrant membership in this compendium, even considering Winslow's previous Intelligence experience. However, when she starts to find herself asked - or pushed - to help out here and there on matters, she discovers that you never really leave that line of work for long.

BOOKS

Number of Books:10
First Appearance:2015
Last Appearance:2023

1 A Killer in King's Cove A Killer in King's Cove
aka Dead In The Water
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2015

"It is 1946, and war-weary young ex-intelligence officer Lane Winslow leaves London to look for a fresh start. When she finds herself happily settled into a sleepy hamlet in the interior of British Columbia surrounded by a suitably eclectic cast of small-town characters she feels like she may finally be able to put her past to rest.
But then a body is discovered, the victim of murder, and although she works alongside the town’s inspectors Darling and Ames to discover who might have possibly have motivation to kill, she unknowingly casts doubt on herself. As the investigation reveals facts that she has desperately tried to keep a secret, it threatens to pull her into a vortex of even greater losses than the ones she has already endured."
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2 Death in a Darkening Mist Death in a Darkening Mist
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2017

"On a snowy day in December 1946, Lane Winslow—a former British intelligence agent who’s escaped to the rural Canadian community of King’s Cove in pursuit of a tranquil life—is introduced to the local hot springs. While there she overhears nearby patrons speaking Russian. When one of those patrons is found dead in the change room, Lane’s linguistic and intelligence experience is of immeasurable value to the local police force in solving the murder.
The investigation points to the Soviet Union, where Stalin’s purges are eliminating enemies, and the reach of Stalin’s agent snakes all the way into a harmless Doukhobor community. Winslow’s complicated relationship with the local police inspector, Darling, is intensified by the perils of the case—and by the discovery of her own father’s death during the war."
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3 An Old, Cold Grave An Old, Cold Grave
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2017

"It’s early spring of 1947 in idyllic King’s Cove, and the Hughes ladies, mère et filles, are gardening and sorting through the jars of food that have been put up for the winter. But while cleaning up after the roof of their root cellar has caved in slightly, they are horrified to discover a small skeletal hand embedded in the mess. Panicked, they call Lane Winslow, the ex-British secret service agent, and, not without some misgivings about the state of their tense relationship, Lane calls Inspector Darling.
Before long the police crew discover the body of a young child buried almost 40 years before. Who is the child, and why has it not been buried in the local cemetery? Inspector Darling, already busy dealing with a teenage girl who has gone on a destructive rampage at a local mill, asks Lane for help in unearthing the long-forgotten secrets of the early life of the tiny town, and the identity of the long-forgotten child."
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4 It Begins in Betrayal It Begins in Betrayal
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2018

"Summer descends over the picturesque King’s Cove as Darling and Lane’s mutual affection blossoms. But their respite from solving crime is cut short when a British government official arrives in Nelson to compel Darling to return to England for questioning about the death of a rear gunner under his command in 1943.
In Darling’s absence, Ames oversees the investigation into the suspicious death of a local elderly woman and uncovers a painful betrayal inflicted forty years earlier. Meanwhile, Lane follows Darling to London, where he is charged with murder and faces hanging. While desperately seeking answers, Lane is presented with a proposal that could save the man she loves, but only if she returns to the very life she sought to leave behind."
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5 A Sorrowful Sanctuary A Sorrowful Sanctuary
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2018

"Lane Winslow is enjoying a perfect, sunny day at the lake when she spots a gravely injured young man drifting in a sinking rowboat. Hypothermic, bleeding, and soaked in icy, bloody water, he is unable to speak, leaving Lane at a loss. What series of events brought him to this grisly fate?
Darling and Ames are quick to pick up the case, but leads are few until Angela’s young son finds an unsettling clue on the beach—a bright red swastika lapel pin—that points to the National Unity Party of Canada. When the anonymous man succumbs to his injuries, Darling and Lane are thrown headlong into a murder investigation with ties to the old country."
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6 A Deceptive Devotion A Deceptive Devotion
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2019

"A wedding is on the horizon for Lane Winslow and Inspector Darling. As one of the few Russian speakers in her community, Lane is obliged to act as translator and hostess for Countess Orlova, an elderly Russian woman who has tracked her missing brother to the Nelson area. Nelson PD investigates, but then the murder of a lone hunter in the hills above King’s Cove takes top priority.
Darling works the case with a Constable Oxley—a newcomer to the area, assigned in Constable Ames’ temporary absence—and a British agent contacts Lane to warn her to be on the lookout for a fleeing Russian defector. Bound by the Wartime Secrets Act, Lane is conflicted about keeping the information from Darling, especially when it begins to put a strain on their relationship."
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7 A Match Made for Murder A Match Made for Murder
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2020

"It’s November, and Lane and Darling have escaped the chilly autumn in the Kootenays for a honeymoon at the posh and romantic Santa Cruz Inn in sunny Tucson, Arizona. But despite her very best intentions to relax, soon after their arrival Lane’s plans to spend the holiday poolside with a good mystery are interrupted by gunfire. One of the hotel’s wealthy guests has been shot point blank and Lane is second on the scene.
Though Lane and Darling attempt to distance themselves from the investigation, the longer they stay at the Santa Cruz Inn, the deeper they are drawn into a web of suspects and bystanders, and a collection of seemingly perfect marriages fraught with jealousy and violence. The situation threatens first their honeymoon and then their lives when Lane puts herself directly in the sights of local criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want."
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8 A Lethal Lesson A Lethal Lesson
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2021

"Back home in the Kootenays after her Arizona honeymoon, Lane offers her assistance when neither the outgoing teacher, Rose, nor her replacement, Wendy, show up at the local schoolhouse one blizzardy Monday in December. But when she finds the teachers' cottage ransacked with Rose unconscious and bleeding, and Wendy missing, Lane delivers Rose to the hospital in Nelson and turns the case over to her exasperated husband, Inspector Darling, and his capable colleagues, Sergeant Ames and Constable Terrell.
Never one to leave a post unmanned, Lane enlists as substitute teacher for the final two weeks before the Christmas holidays, during which time she discovers a threatening note in the teachers' desk and a revolver in the supply cupboard. But these clues only convolute the case further. Who has been tormenting these women, and where has Wendy gone?"
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9 Framed in Fire Framed in Fire
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2022

"It’s early spring 1948 and Lane arrives in New Denver to find that her friend, Peter Barisoff, is not at home. Instead, in a nearby meadow, she encounters Tom, an Indigenous man in search of his ancestral lands. Lane is intrigued. Unfortunately, once Peter returns home, the day takes a gloomy turn when the trio uncovers human remains next to Peter’s garden, and Lane must tell her husband, Inspector Darling, that she’s inadvertently stumbled into his professional domain—again.
Back in Nelson, the Vitalis, Lane and Darling’s favourite restaurateurs, are victims of arson. Constable Terrell’s investigation suggests prejudice as a motive, and the case quickly escalates, as the Vitalis receive increasingly threatening notes of warning. Meanwhile, Sergeant Ames works a robbery while alienating Tina Van Eyck in his personal time, and a swirling rumour sets the entire station on edge and prompts an RCMP investigation into Darling’s integrity."
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10 To Track a Traitor To Track a Traitor
Written by Iona Whishaw
Copyright: 2023

"It’s an early morning in May when Lane is pulled from a deep sleep by a concerning phone call from Scotland—her grandfather has had a heart attack. Lane hastily makes plans to fly overseas, and a dejected Inspector Darling prepares himself for a stint of bachelorhood. But before he can begin to dwell on it the Nelson Police learn that Ben Arden, a local cad, has gone out for a late-night boat ride and not returned, which immediately sets the town rumour mill churning.
In Scotland Lane finds her grandfather on the mend but her estranged sister Diana caught up in stressful—and mysterious—circumstances of her own. As Lane follows the thread leading from South Africa to Aberdeen to the War Office in London it becomes apparent that her sister is on the run, and that keeping secrets seems to be a Winslow family trait."
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MY COMMENTS

This delightful series is a combination of cozy mystery coupled with some intriguing though low-keyed espionage work. Winslow reveals herself to be quite difficult to rattle and though many of the males she comes into contact with are prone to treat her as though she is a delicate thing, she both suffers their patronage without too much argument and proceeds to do things as she sees fit. She is fun to follow. Just ask Inspector Darling, the man she will meet and grow quite close to.

Some of the adventures are strictly murder-solving while enough of the others step over the line into the covert world enough to qualify to be in this collection. Plus she is just a lot of fun to watch.

GRADE

My Grade: B

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