At first the Killings At Badger's Drift comes off as a cozy little British mystery set somewhere in the countryside among thatched houses, lovely gardens, and tea. Little old ladies abound, snooty upper-crust individuals run in and out of the pages, and behind the door of every cottage and every manor house there are secrets.
The thing about The Killings At Badger's Drift is that this is really a gritty mystery wrapped up in the trappings of a cozy. The murders transform from what you'd expect in a "quaint" British murder mystery to really, really bloody. Not cozy at all! Likewise, as the murders become more grisly, the secrets become more repellent and decidedly un-cozy. The really nasty side of human nature is delved into, and the abhorrent underbelly of the kinds of people who populate Agatha Christie's novels is exposed to daylight in the Killings At Badger's Drift. Among the thatched houses, the lovely gardens, and the tea there are some really despicable things going on. The juxtaposition of quaintness and ugliness is very striking in this book, and that juxtaposition makes this a worthwhile read for fans of the mystery genre.