The Bridled Groom: A Mystery

J. S. Borthwick, Author
J. S. Borthwick, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-312-10435-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 336 pages - 978-0-312-95505-2
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In their sixth engaging and literate adventure, following Dude on Arrival , Sarah Deane, English teacher and Ph.D. candidate at Maine's Bowmouth College, and her fiance, physician Alex McKenzie, are distracted from wedding plans when Sarah's widowed Aunt Julia begins receiving threatening notes. Crusty, independent Julia, owner of High Hope Farm, is initially untroubled by the hand-delivered nursery rhymes rewritten with unnerving twists, e.g., ``Julia Clancy sat on a wall / Julia Clancy had a great fall.'' The list of possible culprits includes neighbor Colonel Harvey Dodge, a persistent suitor who thinks he and Julia should marry, blending their farms and their lives; librarian Tilly Martin, who says that she has learned from the stars and runes that each person in the area should take over a neighbor's property; a mining company that has shown a recent interest in local mineral rights. The threats continue, leading finally, during Sarah and Alex's reception at Julia's beloved horse farm, to a suspicious death. In this character-oriented mystery, Borthwick makes the suspects, Julia's neighbors and the mining company seem largely, though not entirely, innocent, giving Sarah and Alex a challenging puzzle to solve--as though pulling off a wedding were a piece of cake. (Mar.)
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