cover image The Gentle Art of Murder: A Dorothy Martin Mystery

The Gentle Art of Murder: A Dorothy Martin Mystery

Jeanne M. Dams. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8481-7

Murder strikes the art department of England’s Sherebury University in Dams’s sedate 16th mystery featuring American expat schoolteacher Dorothy Martin (after 2014’s Day of Vengeance). Soon after Dorothy and her retired policeman husband, Alan, arrive at a party to honor the talented new sculpture instructor, someone kills John Chandler, the department head. Chandler was wildly unpopular with his staff, in part because of draconian budget cuts. But that doesn’t explain why he was both stabbed and poisoned before being dropped in an elevator shaft. Nor is it clear how a plane ticket from Greece or the horrendous vandalism in the art studios is connected. The obnoxious painter Will Braithwaite is everyone’s favorite suspect, but there’s no evidence. While the police investigate, so do Dorothy and Alan. Despite a couple of convenient coincidences that bring the case to a close, fans of warm and fuzzy traditional English mysteries will be satisfied. Agent: Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron Agency. (June)