Despite receiving multiple books for review, Auntie M often buys books she wants to read and these three were from her spring crop, presented her for your Memorial Day reading pleasure. All three rate high marks are from some of Auntie M’s favorite authors, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting their acquaintance, dive in now! Highly recommended!!

After an absence that seemed far too long, Susan Hill brings us a new Chief Superintendant Simon Serrailer mystery with The Comforts of Home.

After the horrendous ending to The Soul of Discretion, one could have wondered if we would see Serrailler again, but here he is, adjusting to a new life after his near-fatal injuries, which provides a shocker of an opening. Without melodrama, Serarrailler must learn to cope with his new situation, an enormous adjustment.

His recuperation on a small Scottish island is cut into when the local police ask him to become invovled in a murder inquiry. Despite being relatively new to the island, the popular victim is mourned after being found in unusual circumstances and the death creates a wave of fear that sweeps through the isolated community.

A second case, a cold case assigned by Serrailler’s new brother-in-law, brings its own thorny situation. Now married to his doctor sister, Cat, Kieron Bright relies on Serrailler’s insights, even as Cat struggles with her new marriage and an important professional decision. Her children’s futures are an additional strain on Serrailler, as is his understandably thorny relationship with his father.

This is not a fast-paced thriller, but a superb meditation on loss, family, change, and home, wrapped up in two mysteries that must be untangled. Serrailler heals his mind as well as his body with walks, meditating on his future, his new abilities, and of course, solving the cases.

Aline Templeton’s new detective, after the wonderful DI Fleming series, is DCI Kelson Strang of the Serious Rural Crime Squad in Scotland. His second outing in Carrion Comfort cements this character as strong enough to carry his weight even as he feels his way in this new position.

The small village of Forsich retains many of the old habits, which come with old lingering hatreds, too, and none is stronger than that of Gabrielle Ross, blamed for her father’s destruction of the village.

But whether the woman is benign or evil is something Strang must decide when the body of a drowning victim is found being eaten ravens in aruined croft house. Who bothered to put the body there?

Gabrielle is recovering after losing a baby with her devoted husband, but is she also losing her mind? With her sanity at question, and the villager’s loathing for her, Gabrielle is in tenuous position with fingers pointing at her as the culprit after the blowback from her dead father’s failed local business venture.

Templeton weaves in the social conflicts of modern Britain, from law enforcement budget cuts to the impact of vulture capitalism on small towns. Her descriptions of the local landscapes and the natural environment bring it to life as another character that has its own part to play in the life cycle of this rural area.

Different from the Fleming mysteries, these are edgier characters and there is a darker tone. Strang is still settling into his job, although he’s provided with a female DC who needs his tutoring and should become a series regular. The locals take center stage, with flawed characters whose grudges propel the narrative even as they blind themselves to reality.

Sophie Hannah’s Hercule Poirot is magnificently resurrected under Hannah’s skillful writing in The Mystery of Three Quarters, which starts off with Poirot immediately put on the wrong foot after arrving home from a luncheon to find a woman angrily demanding to know why he sent her a letter accusing her of murder.

Of course, Poirot has done no such thing, and the man the letter accuses Sylvia Rule of killing, one Barnabas Pandy, is someone neither Sylvia nor Poirot have ever met. As if that’s not enought to shake his equanimity, he finds another visitor waiting, claiming to have a received a similar letter from Poirot, accusing him of murdering Pandy.

It’s a lively premise and one Poirot, completely innocent, yet annoyed at being dragged into this farce, must get to the bottom of as eventually there will be four letters, seemingly from Poirot, and yes, Pandy is indeed dead, but not under suspicious circumstances.

Poirot’s “Hastings” in this series is Scotland Yard’s Edward Catchpool, whom Poirot enlists to look into each of the four people who’ve received forged letter, as well as Pandy and his seemingly innocuous death. Several secondary characters contrast nicely to Poirot; the three quarters of the title refers to a ‘church window’ cake that plays an important part in helping solve the case.

This is an elegant mystery, one that takes its due from Christie’s knack for inspecting the English way of doing things as well as keen insights into human nature. While allowing Hannah her own way of telling us these new Poirot cases, nothing of Christie’s original character is lost and, indeed, rests well in Hannah’s most capable hands. A sheer delight.