Miss Undine's Living Room

James Wilcox, Author HarperCollins Publishers $16.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-06-015761-6
In this loose, sprawling novel, Wilcox is back in tiny Tula Springs, La., the setting of Modern Baptists and North Gladiola. Here, he takes an oblique approach to crime solving that is, in essence, a wry study of small-town eccentrics and miscreants as they go their busy ways campaigning for political office, stirring up trouble in City Hall, or carrying on clandestine affairs. The crime itself is largely ignored for much of the book. Did Mr. Versey, a nasty male nurse, jump to his death from Uncle L. D. Loraine's second-story window, or did Uncle L. D., a bedridden and befuddled nonagenarian, push him? Donna Lee Keeley, a fresh-faced, brisk young lawyer takes the case when authorities mull over bringing Uncle L. D. before a grand jury. Dr. Munrow, the upright principal of the local prep school, visits Uncle L. D. privately and strongly advises him to admit to murder. Mrs. Undine, a former civics teacher who knows everyone and everything, and Olive Mackie, a distant relative of Uncle L. D., are at the center of the action, and Olive eventually pulls all the strings necessary to solve the mystery. Wilcox's droll humor as he chronicles the slightly peculiar way of life in Tula Springs should keep readers chuckling. (August 26)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
Paperback - 978-0-06-091502-5
Hardcover - 978-1-56849-522-4
Paperback - 275 pages - 978-0-8071-2699-8
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