Murder at the Old Vicarage

Jill McGown, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-02615-8
This finely crafted whodunit pays homage to Agatha Christie. But what differentiates McGown's work from the grande dame's classic tale bearing almost the same title is the interesting relationship she establishes between her two protagonists, Acting Chief Inspector Lloyd, known only by his surname, and Det. Sgt. Judy Hill. The duo, who debuted in A Perfect Match , work together and are lovers who have a problem: she is married and Lloyd wants to change the status quo. It's Christmas and they are assigned to investigate a murder in the English village of Byford at the home of vicar George Wheeler. His wife, Marian, has discovered the body of Graham Elstow, the estranged husband of their daughter, Joanna, after returning from the midnight service. To escape Elstow's physical abuse, Joanna has been living with her parents. Seeking a reconciliation, Elstow had visited her earlier in the day, and she is the last person to have seen him alive. Though it appears to be an open-and-shut case, numerous undercurrents bear investigation, including the vicar's sexual attraction to one of his parishioners. McGown's complex plot is masterful and her sleuths and their predicament are enthralling. Christie couldn't have done it better. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 978-0-8161-4838-7
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