Whistler in the Dark: A Tim Simpson Mystery

John Malcolm, Author Scribner Book Company $14.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-684-18701-3
In this fourth mystery featuring art collector/detective Tim Simpson, we find the hero hot on the trail of an obscure pair of paintings by J. M. Whistler. The nice old gentleman who shows Simpson and his girlfriend, Tate Gallery aide Sue Westerman, photographs of the paintings, is roughed up by hoods and later found dead. Although Simpson's old friend Nobby Roberts, chief inspector at Scotland Yard, takes over the case, Simpson finds himself unable to ignore the mystery. Readers may not have the same problem. Malcolm has laid on so many sub-plots, given us such intimate knowledge of British banking, worked in so much extraneous information about Whistler, made so many oblique references to the other Simpson stories and provided so many red herrings, that the reader is overwhelmed. Furthermore, the narrative voice is almost unbearably smug, the story relies heavily on a matrix of coincidences, and the ending, which seems tacked on at best, is a disappointment. Malcolm writes as if both he and Simpson were bored with mysteries and would rather be looking at paintings. Paperback rights to Ballantine. (January 28)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-34292-8
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