After every serial killer thriller, shouldn’t one read a cozy mystery? Gentle and intricate, the clues being the point, a la Agatha C, they’re a wonderful antidote. Murder in Mud, the second in a series featuring author and home husband Oliver Atkinson, is a lovely example of the sub-genre. In the first series book, his mind was inhabited by a female “hitchhiker,” a ghostly presence, in this book the hitchhiker is a grumpy Scotsman who prompts Oliver to investigate a murder involving the ghost’s great, great grandson. Oliver insinuates himself into the investigation and the plot unfurls like clockwork. Author Strong writes in a breezy, atmospheric style, the dialogue is sharp, and the other characters are well fleshed out. A breezy read that tickles the mind. Most enjoyable.