In her pleasurable, albeit snail-paced, third adventure (following Trouble in Town Hall, 1996), Dorothy Martin, a 60-ish expat American widow living in England, goes on holiday to the Isle of Iona and is stuck in the company of an acrimonious group of spiritual leaders. As in her previous appearances, the amiable Dorothy becomes a sounding board for all viewpoints. The seven men and women, on a trip sponsored by an ecumenical religious group in Chicago, include an angry young Roman Catholic nun, a black Baptist choir director, a gay Lutheran organist and a Jewish rabbi whose only grandson committed suicide when he learned he had AIDS. The group reeks with mutual animosity and is united only in their enmity toward Bob Williams, a Methodist youth organizer. When Bob slips off a rock in what looks to be an accident while the group views Fingal's Cave, only Dorothy notices a treacherous and unexpected patch of water beneath his feet. It could have been left by anyone in the group, each of whom carried a water bottle. As an enormous storm isolates them on Iona, Dorothy hears more about Bob--including hints of pedophilia--and vows to uncover the truth. Dams's latest leisurely, nonviolent mystery doesn't have much of a payoff but benefits from its sleuth's appealing, loquacious personality and comes as well with a loving description of Iona. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1997 Release date: 11/01/1997 Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-8027-4331-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-06-101346-1
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.