Mrs. Malory and the Festival Murder

Hazel Holt, Author
Hazel Holt, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (171p) ISBN 978-0-312-08852-1
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
The constricted society of an English village and the uneasy relationships between its natives and newcomers, especially pretentious weekenders, is carefully and forcefully etched in the return of writer Sheila Malory, seen before in Mrs. Malory Investigates . The annual Taviscombe Festival, once a simple affair with local performers, is appropriated and aggrandized beyond recognition by new resident Adrian Palgrave. A poet and biographer of little renown, Palgrave has been named literary executor for writer and man-of-the-world Lawrence Meredith, a leading literary figure of the 1920s and 30s. When Palgrave is found battered to death during the first performance of the festival, suspects are not scarce. The unpleasant poet was wont to proclaim any peccadillos he came across, including those he discovered in Meredith's letters. TV documentary-maker Oliver Stevens fears disclosure of an affair, and young Robin Turner, treasurer for the festival, had been tongue-lashed frequently by the dead man. Two other deaths and an attempt to destroy Meredith's papers lead Taviscombe resident Sheila to search for long-held secrets that bred fatal consequences. (May)