The 21st case for Detective Superintendent Charles Wycliffe of Cornwall involves the shy and retiring Simon Meagor, an antiquarian bookseller in Falmouth from whom Wycliffe buys books. Some years ago, Simon's testimony convicted George Barker of murder. Now Barker is dead, and his redheaded daughter, Morwenna, has blackmailed Simon into giving her a job as his shop assistant. When Morwenna is found dead in her car in a flooded quarry, Simon is an obvious suspect, but there were plenty of other complications in the young woman's life that could have led to violence. Wycliffe's team of series regulars, including DS Lucy Lane, pathologist Dr. Franks and DI Doug Kersey, helps him in the investigation, which sees many tangled plot threads tied up in a satisfactory ending. If Burley's characterizations are a bit rote and his prose a mite stiff, he never fails to provide a puzzle that will delight procedural purists--as does this one, stitched cleverly into its atmospheric Cornish backdrop. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998 Release date: 10/01/1998 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.