The Seventh Link: An English Village Cosy Featuring the Colonel. Margaret Mayhew. Severn House. November 2014. 160 pp. ISBN#: 9780727884213.
The Colonel is retired from military service and finding city life distasteful has retired to a country town where everyone knows everyone. He’s delighted to putter around his house and especially hide out in his man-cave shed where he begins work on a naval model. He has a nice relationship with his neighbor Naomi who stops by for tea and a chat and he has another neighbor who spends her day harmlessly spying with a pair of German U-Boat military binoculars. And of course there’s his cat Thursday who is close but finicky companion, amusing and aloof but clearly attached to his beloved Colonel.
Now the Colonel is setting off to visit a friend Geoffrey who with his wife runs a bed and breakfast home in the Village of Buckby, a place of historical interest because from here the Royal Air Force flew off to Europe and Germany where they carried out special operations against Germany. It coincidentally happens to be a weekend when the Royal Air Force is having a reunion of those who belonged to the same RAF Unit.
Much of Buckby has changed but that doesn’t ruin the reunion which is really a sacred ceremony celebrating the men who were very skilled but also more lucky to survive missions in which one out of three survived. The men share memories and one of the late arrivals shares a troubling story with a news reporter. The mystery of that account turns even more intriguing when the teller appears dead and no one can figure out if it’s a murder or just an unfortunate accident.
The ending is quite unusual and the reader is left to draw his or her own conclusions. The Seventh Link… is a warm and intriguing story briefly told but no less thrilling for the unexpected outcome. The conflict creeps up on the reader and there are some amusing and unique characters to enhance the mysterious ambiance of the story. Nicely crafted historical fiction, Margaret Mayhew.