The Smile of a Ghost: A Merrily Watkins Mystery

Phil Rickman, Author . Macmillan $25 (473p) ISBN 978-1-4050-5169-9

Merrily Watkins faces her most challenging case yet in British author Rickman's unsettling seventh mystery to feature the Anglican priest and deliverance consultant to the diocese of Hereford (after 2004's The Prayer of the Night Shepherd ). When the 14-year-old nephew of newly retired Det. Sgt. Andy Mumford falls from the ruined castle in the medieval town of Ludlow, the official inquest rules the boy's death a suicide. Suspecting foul play, Mumford seeks Merrily's aid. Two more deaths shatter the village, and Mumford, not yet at peace with his retirement, begins to investigate on his own. Rickman vividly depicts Ludlow's narrow streets and the sinister castle, but it's his masterly handling of the occult elements and their impact on the psychology of his sensitive and memorable characters that will keep readers mesmerized from start to finish. Agent, Andrew Hewson (U.K.) . (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
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