cover image Goodbye, Nanny Gray: A Mystery

Goodbye, Nanny Gray: A Mystery

Susannah Stacey. Summit Books, $16.45 (176pp) ISBN 978-0-671-65778-9

Two very good storytellers make a pseudonymous debut as Stacey, in a beguiling and rather exotic variant on the British-village whodunit. When two children find the body of retired governess Phoebe (Nanny) Gray, Supt. Bone goes to Saxhurst to investigate. Nanny's close friend, psychic Emily Playfair, proves a source of information on the residents, and the detective visits each in search of one with a reason for killing the old woman, supposedly beloved by all. Those who could have had murderous motives, however, include Sir Valentine Herne and his wife, Lady Fiona, impoverished since Nanny inherited a fortune from Val's brother; the wife of a rich Arab, Mrs. Abduraman, who lavished gifts on but privately feared Nanny; also the victim's niece and legatee, Carey Sidgewick. Casting his net further, Bone interviews international rock star Ken Cryer of the manor house and Ken's small son Jemmy, who was with the wily little Mona Staveley when she discovered Nanny lying in the woods, too far for the woman to have walked there herself. By the time Bone fits the puzzle pieces together, with help from attractive Emily Playfair, mystery fans will be reluctant to leave the company of almost everyone in Saxhurst and hope for a series starring the likable sleuthing partners. (July)