Quaker Testimony: An Elizabeth Elliot Mystery

Irene Allen, Author
Irene Allen, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14709-9
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Widowed Quaker, Elizabeth Elliot, Clerk of the Meeting in Cambridge, Mass., again takes on the role of amateur sleuth in this follow-up to Quaker Witness when one of the congregation is murdered. Elizabeth discovers the body of young mother Hope Laughton when she arrives at the Laughton home to support Hope in her tax resistance against the IRS. Initially a suspect, Elizabeth determines to find the murderer, who left behind Hope's grieving husband, Sheldon, and three-year-old daughter, Cathy. As she questions Otto Zimmer, a family friend who is seemingly obsessed with Hope, and Sheldon, whose movements are suspicious, Elizabeth comes to question the strength of her beliefs and those of others in the congregation. Adding to her increasing distress, her dear friend, Patience Silverstone, is in the hospital, declining rapidly. After an accident befalls Cathy, Elizabeth turns to her faith and prayers as it appears the murderer may be within the community itself. Lengthy, unnatural conversations and bits of interspersed Quaker writings, characters as drab as Elizabeth's clothes and an improbable ending are flaws too great to be dismissed. (Sept.)
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