An Accidental Shroud: An Inspector Mayo Mystery

Marjorie Eccles, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-312-15045-7
Ferocious weather combines with the past to make life interesting for some affluent residents of an English village in this melodramatic offering. When Jake Wilding won't account for his whereabouts during the dark and stormy night on which his cousin, jeweler Nigel Fontenoy, is killed, it appears that Superintendent Abigail Moon and Detective Chief Inspector Gil Mayo have a straightforward case on their hands. But this family tree is more gnarled-and active-than most. And then Wilding, a well-off contractor who seems to have been in the dead man's debt, produces his ironclad alibi. He was visiting his ex-wife, the free spirited Naomi, who has returned to town after years of carefree existence in Greece. The indifferent mother of children from several relationships, Naomi herself seems to have roiled the normally placid village-as has the storm, which has knocked down the village's oldest house and cleared a particularly valuable plot of land. Or was it Wilding who cleared it, using the storm as his cover? Naomi has something the dead man wanted when he was seen carrying a parcel to London the morning before his death. Meanwhile, there are enough half brothers, half sisters, paternity issues and confrontations to keep a not especially credible soap opera rolling for months, all leading up to an ending that stretches credibility beyond its breaking point. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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