Blog Tour: Web of Lies, Sally Rigby

Book Review: Web of Lies, Detective Sebastian Clifford Book 1, Sally Rigby


Mystery: Web of Lies, Detective Sebastian Clifford Book 1, Sally Rigby


Former DI Sebastian “Seb” Clifford is deciding what to do next with his life. Having resigned from Scotland Yard, there is always the option of returning and working for his family’s estate. Answering to his father, the Viscount Clifford, is of no appeal whatsoever. He does still have family responsibilities, though, and when his cousin’s disgraced husband commits suicide, he is sent to the funeral as the family’s sole representative. Since he is not an heir to the title (that will go to his older brother) and since he has had a low public profile since joining the Metropolitan Police, he is able to stand for the family without the press getting wind of his presence.


His cousin knows he is there, though, and she appreciates the gesture. She also knows his work as a detective. Sarah is not convinced that her husband committed suicide. He misspelled her name on the suicide note, and he used a nickname for their children that he refused to use when he was alive. She believed those were clues that the note was written involuntarily and that he was murdered.


Seb is unconvinced, but since he is between jobs and has nothing better to do he agrees to look into it. Sarah’s husband was guilty of a huge Ponzi scheme and his death occurred just after regulators began looking into his business. Everything pointed to suicide. The coroner and the local police agreed. Still, this is family, and Seb decides to support his cousin in her time of need.


DS Lucinda Bird, better known as “Birdie,” is a promising young detective in the local police force. She is also smart mouthed and constantly late, easily distracted, and had recently wrecked her police vehicle in an accident that was entirely her own fault. She likes to party late into the night and has been known to arrive at the office with a hangover. These faults have landed her on desk duty. Again. She is eager to prove that she is better than her bad habits, so when Seb calls asking to look at the police report, she agrees he can do so with one condition: she assists in his investigation.


Sally Rigby is a creative writer of detailed plots and compelling characters. In this introduction to what promises a new series, she introduces two characters who complement each other neatly. Sebastian Clifford is tall, 6’6”. He is neat, grew up as an aristocrat with a lengthy pedigree, and learned the detective craft from among the best in the world in London at the Met. Birdie is a petite woman some 12 years younger than Clifford. She is messy and undisciplined, adopted as an orphan with no knowledge of her parents, and works in a small community police force where she is the youngest detective in a town with nearly no violent crime. Somehow, though, they mesh together as a terrific team. They enjoy each other, they protect each other, and they prod each other. Although Seb is determined to return to London and Birdie is eager to continue her career in her hometown, it seems likely that these two will team up again.


One of the delightful things about being an American invited to review a British novel is chance to get an outsider’s view of English social classes. I honestly neither know nor care what a “viscount” is. (I have Google and can look it up, but I sincerely doubt I would ever call anyone “m’lord” in a serious tone of voice.) We obviously have our own less rigidly defined classes without official titles here in the states, but we like to pretend that they are self-made differences and have nothing to do with inherited wealth or racial privilege. We are absolutely deluding ourselves. Still, we prefer our own delusions to the more honest acknowledgment of our British cousins that some people are born into opportunity that others will never know.


The characters in Rigby’s book, though, are complicated and deep. Birdie desperately wants to know who she is. Sebastian desperately wants to be known for whom he is and not for a title he will never hold. Perhaps it is that recognition of kindred longing that binds them together and forges their teamwork and their friendship.


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Our thanks to Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for our copy of Web of Lies, given in exchange for our participation in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other perspectives on this novel, check out the other bloggers participating in the tour.



Book Review: Web of Lies, Detective Sebastian Clifford Book 1, Sally Rigby

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