A Season for Death

Ray Harrison, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-312-01815-3
It is London in 1893, and the Dean of St. Paul's dies under mysterious circumstances, caught up in one of the cathedral bell ropes. When Detective Sgt. Joseph Bragg and his gentleman assistant, Constable James Morton, investigate, they find that the dean committed suicide, having been pauperized by a blackmailer who knew that the dean had frequented a homosexual brothel. The next person to hear from the blackmailer is Arabella Godfrey, a somewhat indiscreet young woman who receives extortion threats on the eve of her marriage. Meanwhile, scandal threatens the apex of society. The Prince of Wales has sent a love letter to another man's wife, and it has fallen into the wrong hands: a letter demands 10,000. The prince, impressed by Bragg and Morton in a previous investigation (Counterfeit of Murder), calls on them to save his name. The three sets of blackmail are tied together, and the case is solved with the invaluable aid of Morton's love, reporter Catherine Marsden, who is herself the object of attempted extortion. Harrison's sixth book featuring Bragg and Morton is a gem, with a solid mystery and a firm grasp of the period. The London season, along with Catherine's ambivalent participation, is nicely evoked, and the relationship between Morton and the shrewd, lower-middle-class Bragg, is delightfully nuanced. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-11639-5
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