Murder in the East End

Maisie Birmingham, Author Academy Chicago Publishers $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-89733-357-3
A modern settlement house in London's East End, where social workers live as well as work, provides the setting for this slightly flawed murder mystery. Kate Weatherley, deputy director of Spitalfields Residential Settlement, is attacked and knocked out after talking to a client who wants Kate to find her missing sister. Soon afterward, the client is found beaten to death in Kate's bedroom, with the eight settlement house residents the only possible suspects. The body is identified as that of one of the blackmailing Sedges sisters, whom Kate had helped expose and who may have been victimizing some of Kate's colleagues. Two attempts on Kate's life lead her to study the evidence thoroughly and pinpoint the killer. Birmingham's depictions of the famous Petticoat Lane market and of social problems in modern London make this a lively and readable novel; as a mystery, however, it is less successful, because of its lackluster puzzle and offstage denouement. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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