Peckover Joins the Choir

Michael Kenyon, Author
Michael Kenyon, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-10523-5
Paperback - 377 pages - 978-0-7862-0266-9
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Although eccentricity is expected in certain British mysteries, this eighth Peckover caper, after last year's Kill the Butler! , turns positively loopy. Detective Chief Inspector Henry Peckover and his Harrow-educated sidekick, Detective Constable Jason Twitty, join the Sealeigh Choral Society to ascertain who's been stealing relics from foreign churches that have hosted the choir. The ersatz vocalists encounter a plethora of dotty suspects. Is it Philip Green, mayor of Sealeigh, who heads SCAT (Sealeigh Campaign Against the Tunnel) and whose ferry shares are in danger? Is it Peter Witherspoon, art lecturer once arrested for peepery, or Angus McCurdle, a farmer of Scots ancestry who is building a model of Brighton's Royal Pavilion with 30,000 matchsticks? Or Clemency Axelrod, she with the glass eye who runs an antique shop called Curiouser and Curiouser? When the choir reaches Ghent, Belgium, matters turn murderous as gossipy Eleanor Sandwich is clubbed to death with a candelabra. The loopiness escalates right to the climactic scene--a foxhunt that winds up in a church. Kenyon's idiosyncratic characters would do P.G. Wodehouse proud, and his quip-a-minute style helps obscure the absence of a real plot. (Apr.)
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