Murder in the Garden

Jennie Melville, Author
Jennie Melville, Author Minotaur Books $15.95 (225p) ISBN 978-0-312-03895-3
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
As Gwendoline Butler, this British author writes the Detective Coffin series; as Melville, she has been praised for Windsor Red and Murder Has a Pretty Face . All of them are superior to this interminable effort. The Garden is a London enclave, home to best friends and busy career women Edwina, Cassie and Alice. The trio attends the wedding of Edwina's father to his second wife, where Edwina is preoccupied with thoughts of her pregnancy by a lover recently killed in an auto crash. But when the women gather after the reception, they discuss a more immediate subject: the fatal poisoning of another guest. Meanwhile, anonymous, menacing phone calls to Edwina increase, simultaneous with murderous attacks on her neighbors. The disturbances strain the women's friendship and, ultimately, the reader's patience, as repetitious details about dozens of unrealistic characters become confusing and irritating. When, at long last, the denouement comes, it's less a surprise than an anticlimax. (Feb.)
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