Good and Dead

Jane Langton, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (244p) ISBN 978-0-312-33865-7
This agreeably malevolent book has a goodly number of its scenes set in the Old West Church of Nashoba, where far too many of the seemingly virtuous and righteous villagers have murder on their minds. The interplay of the pious teachings from the pulpit and the ensuing mayhem is deftly handled, as the good men and women of the small New England town are shattered by one bewildering death after another: 12 in one year. Homer Kelly, a retired lieutenant detective, quickly zeros in on one blatant malefactor, but the other deaths are more puzzling. Did Betsy Bucky deliberately goad her husband into a heart attack by feeding him lavish doses of cholesterol? What about the supposed rash of heart failures among many of those grievously illis someone easing them into a quick death? Langton (Emily Dickinson is Dead, who shows a deep love of New England and its history, has peopled her fictional village with a memorable gallery of sunny, sensible parishioners who, far from being models of rectitude, try gamely to cope with their lust, greed and jealousy. A novel that's slow to start comes to a spirited conclusion when we find that a harsh and inevitable justice is meted out to those who flout the laws of God or man. Illustrations not seen by PW. (November 17)
Reviewed on: 10/28/1986
Release date: 11/01/1986
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-14-012687-7
Hardcover - 394 pages - 978-0-89621-822-2
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-14-010088-4
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4532-5231-4
Ebook - 174 pages - 978-1-78408-656-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-0871-6
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