Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton Hodder & Stoughton, $101 As an insidious virus ravages a rural community in Scotland, livestock is culled and farmland dug up to bury the carcasses. Grief is magnified when a woman's body is unearthed on property belonging to the strange, dysfunctional Mason family. Enter New York psychologist Laura Sonfeldt, who finds herself in the afflicted area of Galloway after an article she writes about her missing half-sister provokes a response from someone claiming to have known her 15 years ago. The man, part of the Mason clan, says the girl worked for his father on their bull-breeding farm. Novelist Aline Templeton has created fertile ground for a new murder-mystery series starring Detective Inspector Marjory Fleming. Although chance may feature too prominently in her organisation of plot, Australia's Women's Day magazine called the build-up of suspense 'terrific'. For those wondering whether Templeton is setting herself up in a crowded market, The Scotsman commented: '[She] has demonstrated that, just when we thought Scotland was saturated with detectives, a strong woman can elbow her way in and find a unique niche.'