Burden of Guilt

June Drummond, Author
June Drummond, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $26 (160p) ISBN 978-0-575-05149-2
Paperback - 311 pages - 978-1-85389-481-7
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Drummond here switches from Regency romance ( The Bluestocking ) to mystery/thriller. She starts things off promisingly: a young woman accepts a job in a lonely outpost and learns of a dark mystery in her employer's past and, before you know it, a current menace as well. Lawyer Patrick Quinlan explains to Samantha Cole (who needs the job because her husband is off with the British Antarctic Survey) that prospective employer Mary Slevin was convicted and imprisoned for the murder of her brother-in-law. Slevin, who wants Sam to assist her in running a center for prisoner rehabilitation, is generally considered to have acted more out of fear than with malice. But the arrival on the scene shortly thereafter of a woman who has somehow escaped an automobile accident that kills her husband initiates a sequence in which past events seem destined to be raked over publicly once again, to no one's benefit. Sam sets out on one of those improbable amateur investigations in which everyone, friend and foe alike, seems happy to cooperate and reveal long-hidden secrets. After the brisk beginning, however, the story becomes predictable, and most readers will solve such mystery as there is early on. A slight book, all in all, in both length and content. (Feb.)
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