A Pair for the Queen

Barbara Comfort, Author
Barbara Comfort, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22 (221p) ISBN 978-0-393-04627-4
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-393-31913-2
Hardcover - 335 pages - 978-0-7862-2297-1
Open Ebook - 978-0-393-24799-2
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Art forgery, car theft and pornography keep 77-year-old Letitia McWhinny on the alert in this brisk but sometimes muddled mystery set in tiny Lofton, Vt. (pop. 500). When Bruce Hemphill, exuberant and beloved godson of Tish's dear friend Hilary Oats, is found murdered at a dog show and his ""Old Master"" painting of two terriers is missing, Tish immediately begins to pry. After all, she's the one who, with great cunning, effectively restored the painting, which was found in a junk shop. Why are sophisticated newcomers, suave Jeremy Blount and his waif-like wife, Lily, so eager to manage Lofton's minuscule general store? What are these glib city dwellers really after? Tish also casts a wary eye on Bruce's former wife, Joan, and her enterprising husband, both hostile because Bruce had dissipated Joan's money. Bruce's free-spirited daughter, her enigmatic boyfriend and a smarmy antiques dealer all arouse Tish's curiosity and put her in grave danger. Her 88-year-old friend Hilary gives sage advice and warm comfort. Although far too many interconnected relationships mix with schools of red herrings to dilute the plot, the author of Phoebe's Knee shows once again that her pair of crackerjack sleuths, fragile as they are, can still carry a story. (Aug.)
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