Road Kill

Marianne MacDonald, Author
Marianne MacDonald, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-24234-3
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Paperback - 370 pages - 978-0-340-74835-0
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Dido Hoare, a London antiquarian bookseller and single mom, is a heroine for the 21st century--clever, witty and humane. Answering a call for help one night from Phyllis Digby, the nanny of her 15-month-old son, Ben, puts Dido (last seen in 1999's Smoke Screen) on the trail of past crimes, police cover-ups, personal threats and murder. At the Digbys' partially ransacked flat, Dido finds Phyllis locked in a closet. Phyllis is secretive about her missing husband, Frank, and what has happened. The sudden appearance of two policemen, their unpolicemen-like behavior as Dido and Phyllis set the rooms to rights and their equally sudden disappearance when Det. Paul Grant arrives on the scene are even more puzzling. When she later learns that Frank has been murdered and was an ex-convict in the witness protection program, Dido decides that she must find out the truth. Macdonald is a master at connecting the reader to time, place and character through selection of telling details, from the descriptions of the streets Dido treks throughout London, to the mound of folded laundry on the table in her room, to the kiss Dido plants on Ben's damp, red nose. Dido Hoare is aptly named after Queen Dido in Virgil's Aeneid, for she too could probably found a city if she wanted to do so, but unlike her ancient literary namesake, she chooses to run a business, pet the cat and cuddle her son. Agent, Jacqueline Korn. (Sept.)
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