A Woman Scorned

Malcolm MacDonald, Author
Malcolm MacDonald, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (422p) ISBN 978-0-312-08341-0
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Despite the misleading title, there's not a scorned woman to be found among the feisty, independent Irish females created by the prolific Macdonald ( The World from Rough Stones ). Certainly Judith Carty, middle-class friend to the aristocratic Bellingham family, is not one to suffer scorn or any other adversity; it is she who saves Rick Belling-ham's life by throwing herself on one of the assassins who invade a birthday celebration and kill patriarch Col. Bellingham as the novel opens in 1881. Six years later, Judith returns to Castle Moore, the Bellingham family estate, as a rich young woman; her father has made his fortune as an inventor in Dublin. She finds Rick's sister Henrietta unhappily married to an officer stationed in India, and engaged in a passionate affair with an old friend. Rick is nominally in charge of Castle Moore, but the estate is really run by longtime family butler King, whom Judith suspects was involved in the birthday party attack. This lively account of life among the Anglo-Irish aristocracy combines absorbing historical background, a pleasing romance and colorful characters. ( Dec. )
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