cover image Bone Idle: A Superintendent Bone Mystery

Bone Idle: A Superintendent Bone Mystery

Susannah Stacey. Pocket Books, $21 (311pp) ISBN 978-0-671-73531-9

In this delicious whodunit, the admirable Superintendent Robert Bone (The Late Lady) finds himself solving murder on his honeymoon at Roke Castle, where he and his clever bride, Grizel, are staying as the guests of Lord Roke and his wife. Also at the manse is a tour group, one of whose members promptly ruins Bone's idyll by falling to his death from the roof of the castle. Then Lord Roke himself is gruesomely murdered, and the witty and soft-spoken Bone, initially nonplussed, gathers himself to investigate. Roke was a difficult man given to practical jokes (like keeping a caiman in his swimming pool). His long-suffering wife has many reasons for wanting him dead, one of which is Adrian Nash, the houseguest who wouldn't leave (even after he was nearly devoured by the caiman) and with whom Roke may have been having an affair. Several members of the tour group, too, are interested in more than the formal gardens. After a slow start, Stacey offers many intriguing possibilities as every character--from the tour-group members to the butler--engages a reader's attention and suspicion. Above it all shines the exemplary Bone, who manages to solve the case without alienating his wife or treading on the outsized boots of local law enforcement. (Sept.)