cover image Dead Romantic

Dead Romantic

Simon Brett. Scribner Book Company, $13.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-684-18466-1

In a departure from the acclaimed stories about actor-sleuth Charles Paris, the British author presents a dazzlingly tricky mystery, sure to fool the sharpest clue trackers among his readers. Brett's chief characters in a titillating cast are glamorous Madeleine Severn, a language tutor; her student Paul Grigson; and her colleague Bernard Hopkins. At 18, Paul agonizes over his inexperience of sex and his passion for Madeleine. Paul's jealousy of Bernard turns murderous when he learns that the latter has arranged a rendezvous with Madeleine at an isolated cottage. As for Madeleine, still lovely and a virgin at 37, she believes Bernard will be the romantic bed partner she has long awaited. Unaware that Paul has armed himself with a wicked knife and is following her, the woman drives to meet her swain at the cottage. This is where police find the slashed body and a challenging case. (June)