The Custard Corpses is a well written WW2 police procedural set in England and written by M.J. Porter. Released 25th March 2021 it's 225 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free.
This is the author's first foray into the more modern era. Quite possibly having been used to settings in the quite distant past, the relatively recent setting of WW2 era Birmingham wasn't too much of a stretch. I was impressed with the verisimilitude of the characters, the dialogue, and the setting. I'm often an unwilling stickler for anachronisms and continuity (my friends hate my continuity game), and nothing jumped out at me here. It's very much a procedural with an ensemble group along with Chief Inspector Mason trying to unravel a very cold-case child murder more than 20 years old.
The characters are distinct and well rendered. The setting (as stated) is pitch perfect. The only thing that felt off-kilter to me was the fact that there's a fair bit of banter and light humour and the book's murders are about as dark as it's possible to *be*. The murders (over several decades) are children and the denouement and resolution struck me as so bizarrely creepy (but well done), that the sort of humorous banter just added maybe a bit too much ick factor for me to really relax and enjoy the read. The author is both prolific and talented; it was unquestionably intentional, it just felt a bit too much to me. For readers who really like that sort of creepy vibe, there's a lot to enjoy here.
Four stars. Well written. I would recommend it to fans of period British police procedurals.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.