Mortal Ruin: A Tim Simpson Mystery

John Malcolm, Author
John Malcolm, Author Scribner Book Company $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-18958-1
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
This is the sixth adventure for Tim Simpson ( The Gwen John Sculpture , Whistler in the Dark , etc.), former rugby player-turned-art expert and merchant banker. Here Tim traces the history of Winston Churchill's uncle, Moreton Frewenknown as Mortal Ruin for his many disastrous financial schemes. In Chicago to evaluate the possibility of opening another American branch of Christerby's, his firm's art-auction house, Tim is set upon by three thugs who are after his briefcase. The office of the firm's lawyers is burglarized, and then a man holding gold-mine certificates once owned by Frewen is killed. A complicated trail based on the hypothetical existence of an unknown Sargent portrait of the three Jerome sisters (Jenny Jerome was Sir Winston's mother) leads Tim back to New York and then to a remote cottage in Ireland. A likable and erudite supporting cast includes Tim's roommate Sue, a curator at the Tate, and the aged son of a retainer at the Frewen estate near Cork. Simpson and company offer pleasant entertainment as they explore greed and other passions easily aroused by fine art. (August)
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