The Kentish Manor Murders

Julian Symons, Author
Julian Symons, Author Viking Books $15.95 (191p) ISBN 978-0-670-82142-6
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
Symons is appreciated internationally as a critic and biographer of crime novelists and the author of elegant British mysteries. Featuring actor Sherwood Haynes again (The Three-Pipe Solution), this story evolves from Haynes's invitation to play the role at which he is unexcelled, Sherlock Holmes, in a private eventing of theatricals. The bid comes from eccentric Warren Waymark, a millionaire recluse at home in fortress-like Castle Bakersville, named in honor of his idol's epic adventure. Visiting the castle with his clever wife Valerie, Sherwood agrees with her suggestion that Waymark, nearly invisible in his darkened room, could be an imposter. The tycoon explains his sensitivity to light, confirmed by Paul Decker, called ``Prime Minister to the Mogul'' by the staff, since he is in absolute control of Waymark's affairs. Intrigued rather than repelled by the atmosphere, the Hayneses agree to return for the performance when Sherwood has fulfilled an engagement in Denmark. As the plot thickens and quickens, Sherwood meets a man who claims he has an unpublished manuscript by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and asks the actor to sell the treasure to Waymark. Genuine or fake, the manuscript causes several ``accidental'' deaths that inspire Sherwood to Holmesian heights. (July)
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