The Cavalier Case: A Jemima Shore Mystery

Antonia Fraser, Author Bantam Books $17.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-553-07126-9
In her seventh Jemima Shore ( Oxford Blood ) novel, Fraser deftly brings together her two previously separate fortes, history and mystery. In an unusual premise, long-dead viscount and Cavalier poet Decimus Meredith repeatedly exits his portrait on the wall to haunt his 20th-century heirs. The contemporary viscount, suave and manipulative ladies' man and tennis star ``Handsome Dan'' Meredith, has unconventional visions about keeping up expensive Lackland Court. Dan would model its grounds into very different kinds of courts, where he and his fashionable friends would serve tennis balls and be served ``designer drinks'' between matches. Shore, a TV commentator, agrees to create a program about ghosts in country houses at the same time that she falls in love with a portrait she has been lent, which, coincidentally, features Decimus Meredith. Meanwhile, preparations for a costumed Cavalier Celebration at Lackland Court are upset by a death, a startling discovery and an attack by the resident ghost. Jemima's clearheaded sleuthing sorts out the many suspects, some of whom fit historical roles in the family history. Fraser's own love of history enriches this light, amusingly narrated but essentially sad story of a family haunted by betrayal and obsessed with a poetic past. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-8161-7562-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-5967-6
Hardcover - 284 pages - 978-0-7927-0817-9
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-78022-856-3
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