Benjamin Franklin and a Case of Christmas Murder

Robert Lee Hall, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (279p) ISBN 978-0-312-05383-3
In his second mystery convincingly featuring Benjamin Franklin as a sleuth, Californian author Hall ( Ben Franklin Takes the Case ) proves himself a dab hand at recreating the atmosphere of 18th-century London, with all of its harsh realities and fragile comforts. Here Franklin and his young companion Nicholas Handy, who records the adventures, visit the home of popular merchant Roddy Fairbrass, who is entertaining friends and family with a mummers' play on Christmas Eve. When Roddy suddenly drops dead, Benjamin Franklin is more than saddened at losing a friend. The perspicacious American--who has already been asked to investigate the sighting of a ``ghost'' on the Fairbrass premises--is certain that this is a case of murder most foul. A gambling son, distant relatives, exotic poison, an enigmatic black servant and a well-drawn sea captain all play their parts as Franklin applies his wit and powers of invention. Our hero, along with earnest Nicholas, sets out to lay a ghost, explain a murder and survive the scrutiny of some of London's most dangerous criminals. Franklin's aphorisms and joie de vivre serve as extra plums in a tale as delicious as Christmas pudding. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92670-0
Hardcover - 413 pages - 978-0-8161-5305-3
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-8122-1790-2
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