The Christmas Bow Murder was first published in 1994 and is the first in the eight book DCI Jim Ashworth series. Brian Battison died in 1998.
Blonde, attractive and promiscuous Stella Carway is found murdered, a scarf around her neck tied in a bow, her near naked body displayed like a bizarre gift. Her stormy marriage immediately puts her shifty husband Steven in the frame as her killer. But Chief Inspector Jim Ashworth, swimming against the tide of his colleagues' opinions, thinks this too obvious a solution. Blackmail, the cover-up of a fatal hit-and-run accident, a passionate lesbian relationship - Ashworth opens up a can so full of worms it would give a crow a coronary.