But He Was Already Dead When I Got There

Barbara Paul, Author Scribner Book Company $13.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-684-18615-3
A belabored spoof on the genre, Paul's (Kill Fee latest mystery begins when miserly old Vincent Farwell announces he will not extend his $1.5 million loan to Ellandy Jewels. The six young people assembled, all with varied interests in Ellandy, leave to consider their options. Then one by one or in pairs, they return to Vincent's house, find he's been murdered, draw assorted conclusions about which of the others did it, and proceed to alter the scene according to their intentions. All the characters are quirkySimon and Dorrie, for example, wear color-coordinated outfits and use the same shade of blond rinse in their hairand their motives complex. While it is obvious she is mocking the conventions of traditional mysteries, Paul's satire requires a sharper edge to be effective. The tale unravels slowly, the question of who did Vincent in losing its punch well before the answer is revealed. (July 29)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-27075-4
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