Murder, I Presume

Gillian Linscott, Author
Gillian Linscott, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-312-05132-7
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Beginning at the London funeral of African explorer David Livingstone, this Victorian whodunit looks toward the rival expeditions of Philip Bright and Hardy Stretton, explorers formerly allied but now eager to establish competing theories about the source of the Nile. Peter Pentland, who lost a leg while on Bright and Stretton's earlier joint expedition, must remain in London and is asked by each man to look out for his wife: the aristocratic Stretton is married to dynamic Maud; Bright has recently wed Cecilia, a former governess. After the expeditions have left, Sebastian Ewart, discredited in the joint expedition, threatens to damage the reputations of both explorers but soon is dead of ``heart failure.'' Pentland is suspicious of the death, as is Inspector Middleham, called in when the coroner's inquest decrees murder. Linscott ( Unknown Hand ) has a deft touch with characterization and an authoritative feel for Victorian society in this tale that succeeds both as mystery and as historical fiction. (Dec.)
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