A Shoulder to Die on

Hilary Whelan, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-312-11889-1
Lively prose and a zesty cast animate French country life in this first mystery. On his way back to England from a trip to France to pick up fancy foodstuffs for Oz Oswald, a London entrepreneur, young Kevin Dean suffers truck trouble near the village of Jurac. Forced to stay overnight at a local inn, he meets Julia Littleton, who has been visiting her sister in the Dordogne and whose banker husband has flown back to England on a business emergency. After Julia's battered corpse is found in the woods, Kevin becomes the principal suspect. Oz comes to the resue by contacting an old college friend, lawyer Zoe Chavanac, who lives near Jurac. Despite her own questions regarding Kevin's innocence, Zoe explores every possible lead to the killer. False trails abound--far too many--until Kevin's instinctive smarts prevail and he uncovers a bizarre, if unconvincing, scheme. A promising debut. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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