A Lethal Vintage

Martin Sylvester, Author Villard Books $16.95 (283p) ISBN 978-0-394-56789-1
William Warner is a London wine merchant with a lovely and understanding French wife, Claudine. His unspoken arrangement with Claudine permits him an occasional fling or even a full-blown affair. Then Jonathan Cassell, an architect accompanying Claudine home from a dinner party, is shot to death. Was he the intended victim or was Warner? Was Cassell more than a friend to Claudine? These questions and others torment Warner and interest the police. Matters that should remain delicately unspoken are subjected to harsh scrutiny. Equally afraid for his marriage and of his position as chief suspect, Warner decides to carry out his own investigation. Suspects include his estranged wife, Barbara; her former husband, failed sculptor Ludwig Krantz; their son, Hugo, an unprepossessing youth unwilling to leave home, and Bill Charrington, Cassell's partner. In the process, Warner succeeds in alienating the police and receives a thorough battering from some unpleasant characters. In this engaging debut, Sylvester skillfully depicts a charming, selfish man who views most women as potential conquests and will do anything to protect his comfortable life. While feminists probably won't be enchanted, other readers can learn quite a bit about wine and the wine business. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-283-8
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