With Mallets Aforethought: A Winston Wyc Mystery

Brian Johnston, Author Otto Penzler Books $21 (256p) ISBN 978-1-883402-44-0
Elderly millionaire Clement Corbally is buying dismantled buildings and storing them at Longmeadow, his upstate New York property, where he plans to construct a small historic village similar to Sturbridge. His partner, TV star Miles Northingham, has a grandiose scheme for turning the project into a hot TV series. The eccentric Corbally sons have ideas of their own. Gay, avant-garde artist and croquet enthusiast Clement Jr. wants to tack on an amusement park, while fake Episcopal priest Sackett, hoping to scuttle the whole shebang, hires architectural historian Winston Wyc (seen before in The Gift Horse Murders) to provide his expert opinion. Murder upstages restoration, however, and Wyc's reasoning powers prove more vital than his professional expertise. Even more interesting than homicide are his discourses on early American architecture. Johnston, a former actor and cabinetmaker, constructs a solid solution, but the dull road getting there is marked by nebulous characters and stilted dialogue. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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