Motive for Murder

Anthea Fraser, Author Severn House Publishers $24 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5140-6
Fraser's latest effort (after I'll Sing You Two-O) is a neo-gothic page-turner with all the right elements. Innocent Emily Barton leaves the security of her London home to take a position in Cornwall as live-in secretary to moody mystery author Matthew Haig. No sooner does she arrive than she gets suspicious about the whereabouts of her predecessor, Linda Harvey, who she eventually learns was drowned at the nearby beach. Adding to Emily's consternation is the fact that Matthew's novel is based on an unsolved local murder. Her emotions are sorely tested by her unsuitable attraction to Matthew, her affection for his young daughter, Sarah, and the attention lavished on her by Mike Stacey, Matthew's charming cousin. When another death occurs, Emily is convinced that the windy, rainswept Cornwall coast is cursed. Fraser deftly intertwines Emily's amateur detecting attempts with her fluctuating relationships so that the reader is just as curious about whom she will marry as about who committed murder. Emily's final encounter with the killer is a wild ride set against a drenching rain. Filled with credible characters and sleekly written, Fraser's use of the magnificent landscape is the finishing touch on a smooth cozy. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-0-7540-4698-1
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-0-7540-4699-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7540-0841-5
Paperback - 281 pages - 978-0-7862-3689-3
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