TO PERISH IN PENZANCE: A Dorothy Martin Mystery
Cornwall has a tradition as a setting for good mysteries, and this latest from Dams is no exception. In the seventh Dorothy Martin mystery (after 2000's Killing Cassidy), the retired Indiana school teacher and her husband, Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt (Ret.), escape from their rainy home in Sherebury to sunny Penzance, where Dorothy avowedly, and Alan less openly, hope to find evidence to solve a mystery that has long haunted Alan—the mysterious death of an unknown girl. Their Penzance vacation starts auspiciously enough with a chance meeting with a cancer patient and her beautiful daughter, as well as a party invitation from one of the town's leading citizens. Within a few days, however, history seems to be repeating itself when the daughter is found dead, apparently of a drug overdose. The opportunity to investigate is all too tempting, especially when the police shelve the inquiry to pursue other matters, including a bank robbery and the missing granddaughter of the couple's party host. Dorothy, who likes to gossip over tea or brandy, and Alan, who is methodical and thorough, make an appealing sleuthing pair. The tightly constructed plot contains enough twists to keep the reader wondering, though the somewhat weak solution rests on Dorothy's suppositions rather than on the concrete evidence her husband or the police might have provided. Well-drawn characters and striking sense of place make this a welcome addition to the series. (Nov. 23)
FYI:Dams is also the author of Green Grow the Victims (Forecasts, Apr. 16) and other mysteries in the Hilda Johansson series.
Release date: 11/01/2001