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Janie Bolitho, Author . Allison & Busby $10.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7490-0590-0

The ordinary lives of the long-term, year-round residents of declining far-from-London Cornwall stand out in this weakly plotted mystery by British author Bolitho (Snapped in Cornwall; Plotted in Cornwall; etc.). The author is at her best looking into her characters' hearts, examining their private victories and failings, their frustrated hopes and sordid secrets, amid the alternately harsh and fine weather and spectacular scenery close to Land's End. Artist and photographer Rose Trevelyan's elderly friend, Dorothy Pengelly, lives alone in a remote house with her dog and cat. When Dorothy dies, the police conclude it's a case of suicide, but Rose suspects that someone may have murdered the woman for her valuable paintings and furniture. When Rose's sometime lover, Detective Inspector Jack Pearce, takes her misgivings seriously and investigates, he discovers mysteries in the backgrounds of several local citizens, including Dorothy's sons. One son has dropped out of society, while the avaricious wife of another son has caused him to cease seeing his mother. Then Rose starts receiving threatening phone calls. None of this is terribly exciting, but then the author's strengths lie elsewhere. Readers will come away with insights into the variety of ways the people of Penzance and St. Ives talk, think and relate to one another from Bolitho's portrait of an area of England that has a long and honorable tradition as a potent setting. (Dec. 15)

Reviewed on: 10/15/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Show other formats
Book - 978-1-84283-895-2
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-09-478340-9
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