Anthea Fraser, Author . Severn $25.99 (224p) ISBN 0-7278-5726-6

A long-unsolved crime haunts French teacher Annabel Kendal in this compelling traditional mystery by prolific British author Fraser (The Twelve Apostles, etc.). When Annabel and her husband, Simon, get invited to her grandmother's annual birthday party and family reunion, old anxieties resurface. Worried her marriage may be floundering and by the unexpected appearance of a journalist eager to question her about the unsolved murder of her Aunt Hilary that occurred at a similar family celebration 28 years earlier, Annabel experiences once again the dreaded nightmare that has plagued her since childhood. To delve into the past could further jeopardize her tenuous position in the prestigious and proper Carlyle family, as the murderer may have been one of her own relatives, including her very French and now deceased mother. Despite growing tension as the family gathers, Annabel, now in possession of her mother's lost diaries, feels she must dispel the shadows of suspicion for the sake of her own sanity, whatever the cost. The pieces of the puzzle neatly build toward the dramatic and surprising conclusion, while the vivid South Wales, Devon coast and Cheltenham settings will delight Anglophiles everywhere. In spite of somewhat stereotypical secondary characters and a rather contrived portrait of family dynamics, this is a book readers will be reluctant to put down. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 08/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
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