Folly du Jour ) takes Sandilands to France, where"/>

Strange Images of Death

Barbara Cleverly, Author . Soho Constable $25 (314p) ISBN 978-1-56947-632-1

Set in 1926, Cleverly's excellent eighth mystery to feature British Cmdr. Joe Sandilands (after 2008's Folly du Jour ) takes Sandilands to France, where Dorcas Joliffe, a precocious teenager who regards the Scotland Yarder as an honorary uncle, enlists his aid in finding her long-lost mother. Another inquiry, as the pair travel through Provence, soon takes precedence. When someone smashes a stone effigy to pieces in a medieval chapel, the steward in charge of the chapel ask Sandilands to help find the person responsible. This act of vandalism proves to be merely the prelude to the murder of Estelle Smeeth, an attractive young Englishwoman stabbed to death in the same chapel. Cleverly keeps the plot complex, but less convoluted than in Folly du Jour , returning to the form that made the first six in the series models of their kind. Golden age fans who appreciate deceptive storytelling enhanced by the kind of in-depth characterization lacking in Agatha Christie will be more than satisfied. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/15/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
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