Missing Joseph

Elizabeth A. George, Author Bantam Books $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-09253-0
The title of this layered, intricate mystery could refer to the husband and father rarely included in paintings of the Madonna and Child or to an infant victim of crib death 15 years before the grim winter of the story's setting. Both possibilities resonate as George's forensic analyst Simon St. James and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard, both last seen in For the Sake of Elena , unravel a case that embraces issues of sexuality, procreation and familial love. In Lancashire, in gray, bone-chilling December, the vicar of Winslough is found poisoned by water hemlock, which was served--in an apparent accident--by an herbalist, a solitary woman whose sexually precocious daughter the vicar had been counseling. Simon and his wife Deborah, troubled by their failure to conceive a child, take a long week-end at Winslough in January and are drawn into village gossip about the death, which Simon doubts could have been unintended. Irregularities in the local police follow-up (the constable is sleeping with the herbalist) prompt him to call on Tommy to reopen the case. Probing relationships between lovers and between parents and children (notable here are those between the constable and his retired-copper father, between the vicar's housekeeper and her mom, both schooled in the local witch tradition), George sustains suspense as Tommy traces the vicar's death back through London to a long-ago suicide near Truro. A liberal dose of unhappiness widely applied and a tendency to talkiness are easily tolerable in this deftly plotted, highly atmospheric novel. Author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Show other formats
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47179-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 592 pages - 978-0-553-56604-8
Hardcover - 698 pages - 978-1-56895-038-9
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-0-340-83138-0
Paperback - 592 pages - 978-0-340-83139-7
Paperback - 567 pages - 978-0-553-38548-9
Open Ebook - 441 pages - 978-0-553-90529-8
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.