A Whiff of Sulphur

Gillian Linscott, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-01531-2
Seen before in Murder Makes Tracks and A Healthy Body, ex-cop ""Birdie'' Linnet is now on an all-but-deserted volanic island in the Caribbean, leading a week's adventure and survival tour. Birdie's charges include his own teenage daughter, the trouble-making son of an MP, a young couple whose marriage is on the rocks, a would-be soldier, a strange pair of brothers, two up-and-coming, young, single men and a duo of unattached young ladies. The first night on-island, Birdie's daughter and the youth run off into the forest. Next morning, Birdie discovers the island's sole inhabitant dead in a sulphur pool and the only radio smashed to smithereens. One of the brothers disappears, and the married couple splits apart, the husband disappearing in a jealous pique. Birdie searches for his daughter and comes up with the corpse of her companion. Possible murderers and motives are stockpiled as Birdie and the others race off in various directions during the time left before the tour boat is due to pick them up. Combining the exotic setting with deft plotting (all the way to the surprising and satisfying resolution), odd characters and the poignancy of a father's anxiety about his daughter, Linscott's third mystery is a particularly felicitous and engaging tale. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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