Meg Elizabeth Atkins, Author Marion Boyars Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7145-2877-9
This disappointing murder mystery is Atkins's third novel featuring Chief Inspector Henry Beaumont; it is also fourth in the publisher's recently launched Iris series of ``intelligent novels for intelligent women.'' Set in contemporary England, the story revolves around some extremely puzzling deaths, beginning with that of bachelor Arnold Peabody. Following the demise of his widowed mother, Arnold, a meek and deeply saddened man, starts visiting medium Madame Lily to make contact with his mother's spirit. Soon after, a young woman called Meena ingratiates herself into Arnold's life; then he drowns, leaving Lily a sizable inheritance. Six months later, widowed Mildred Hewitt vanishes and is later found dead. Her unwed son, Gilbert, also seeks out Lily, after which he, too, is befriended by a young woman who begins orchestrating his life. Inspector Beaumont finds himself in a particularly advantageous position to investigate the Hewitt case, because he once lived with the Hewitts' friends, the Dashes, to whose home he was evacuated as a child during World War II. The book suffers greatly from bland characterizations, a lack of urgency or tension, and uninspired storytelling. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-1-4056-8507-8
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