Dorothy and Agatha

Gaylord Larsen, Author
Gaylord Larsen, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-525-24865-1
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
This literary fantasy uniting crime writers Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers as sleuths has promising moments, but is, overall, disappointing. When the corpse of an unidentified man is found in Sayers's English village home, where she is preparing for the 1937 production of her religious play, The Zeal in Thy House , Christie agrees to investigate. Christie discovers a secret Sayers had been trying desperately to hide, and despite some mutual antipathy, the novelists join forces. With their only clue the unusual nature of the gun used in the killing, the duo, pursued by a crass and persistent female American journalist, uncovers a tie to a gassing incident during WW I which had also involved Sayers's husband, the now alcoholic MacDonald Fleming. Another death and two near-fatalities occur before the killer is unmasked and Sayers extricated from her difficulties. Larsen's ( Crossing the Pyrenees ) pedestrian and often infelicitous prose further hampers this generally pallid novel, which does no service to the doyennes of the British mystery. (Dec.)
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