The Pied Piper of Death: A Lyon and Bea Wentworth Mystery

Richard Forrest, Author
Richard Forrest, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-15292-5
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An unscrupulous munitions manufacturer with senatorial aspirations and a vendetta going back to the Civil War figure in Forrest's eighth mystery in 20 years featuring children's-book writer Lyon Wentworth, his wife Bea, a Connecticut state senator, and their friend, local police chief Rocco Herbert. Lyon's characters are called the Wobbly Monsters. Forrest's plotting and stock characters are also wobbly, the comfortable relationship between Bea and Lyon notwithstanding. A lively political party at the estate of Peyton Piper turns somber when Lyon finds the murdered body of Markham Swan, who was writing a history of the Piper Munitions Company while having an affair with Piper's wife and eyeing Piper's 18-year-old daughter. Lyon discovers that for 130 years the eldest Piper child has died at 18, shot with a Civil War-era pistol, a fact that the Piper family dismisses as coincidence. Lyon and ""Rabbit"" Welch, one of a family of dwarves who work for the Pipers, find clues to the murders in a secret Underground Railroad room beneath the family mausoleum. An historian at the Antietam battlefield conveniently reveals the rest to Lyon--the motive for revenge begun at that battle in 1864 and preposterously carried on into the present. (Oct.)
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