The Odd Job: A Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn Mystery

Charlotte MacLeod, Author
Charlotte MacLeod, Author Mysterious Press $18.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0-89296-571-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Reaching for too many laughs, MacLeod falls flat with the 12th entry in her Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn series (after Something in the Water). The title refers to Sarah's duties as unexpected executrix of the will of bossy Dolores Tawne, administrator of Boston's Wilkins Museum, who has been stabbed to death with an antique hairpin (a method, Sarah observes, written about by famed archeologist Amelia Peabody Emerson, Elizabeth Peters's series heroine). Among Dolores's effects is a safe deposit box she left unopened for 30 years. The box contains six antique stickpins and a photograph of the Wicked Widows, a group of seven masked street performers who, it turns out, are wanted for the murders of four Boston policemen some years ago. Relying on disguises and guesswork, Sarah triumphs in a final melodramatic scene. The meandering narrative, aimless chatter and absence of Sarah's husband, Max, who's in Argentina, sabotage this effort. (May)
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