Death Wore a Diadem

Iona McGregor, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-312-03812-0
McGregor, an activist for gay rights in Edinburgh, builds her first novel on Empress Eugenie of France's trip to Scotland in 1860. Heading the list of fictional characters are a student, Christabel MacKenzie, 17, and her tutor, Eleanor Stewart, 18--lesbian lovers. Along with everyone else at her school, Christabel is caught up in plans for a theatrical tableau to be presented at a reception honoring the Empress. When a copy of the imperial coronet, lent for the occasion, disappears, detective James McLevy takes charge of the investigation--and of a much graver case. The diadem turns up near the body of Peggy, a maid from the school, who apparently was killed after a rendezvous with a married man. To prove Peggy wasn't a thief, Christabel and Eleanor work to solve the mysteries of the lost royal replica and the murder. Sundry ``real'' people crop up enroute in McGregor's fiction, and are identified in the author's notes (which also mention the Scottish Institution for Young Ladies 1834-1879, a model for the novel's school). (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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