Avenging Angel

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (207p) ISBN 978-0-312-05817-3
This talky, often slow-moving murder mystery is somewhat redeemed by its evocation of Cambridge University as it is now and as it was earlier in the century. Young viscount David Glen Tannock is found dead in his lodgings at Clare College, apparently of an allergic reaction to penicillin. An old family friend, barrister Sir Patrick Scott, investigates the death, which seems to involve a secret intellectual society to which both men belong, made up of active members (called Apostles) and alumni (Angels). After the poisoning of another Apostle, a brilliant young scientist, the barrister is certain that one of the society members is the murderer. Among the Apostles in question are a Russian defector, whose father was executed by David's father during WW II, and an unduly curious American. But discretion is de rigueur. One Angel is a politician about to become ambassador to Russia; others hold high positions in the university. Sir Patrick must unravel a mystery more than 50 years old to find a cold-blooded killer. The class-conscious and cerebral barrister, who narrates the tale, may not be the most attractive sleuth, but he does maintain a civilized discourse. Appiah, a professor at Duke, is a graduate of Cambridge. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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