Described in the story as "Philadelphia's own Armenian-American Hercule Poirot," Gregor Demarkian tags along with his friend, fantasy novelist Bennis Hannaford, when she attends a distant relative's disastrous 100th birthday party. Tasheba Kent, once a silent screen star, caused a scandal in the 1930s when she ran off with her equally famous brother-in-law, Cavender Marsh, after her sister's mysterious death in France. The couple ensconced themselves in a gloomy mansion on an island off the coast of Maine and became recluses. For her birthday, however, they plan to auction off some of their possessions, an event drawing a motley assemblage of interested folk, including Cavender's daughter, whom he abandoned as an infant; a collector of Tasheba's memorabilia; a tabloid journalist; and an assortment of bankers and lawyers. When, during a fierce storm, Tasheba and the journalist are murdered, Gregor must call on his investigative skills, honed during his service with the FBI, and prevent another murder while he unmasks the killer. In this 10th in her holiday series after Bleeding Hearts, Haddam colors a transparent mystery plot with the traditions of gothic horror tales and silent film melodrama.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Haddam (Bleeding Hearts, 1994, etc.) must be running out of holidays: This time her homicidal tendencies are released by a birthday. But what a birthday it is--Tasheba Kent's centenary, designed to kick off an auction of memorabilia from her silent- film career. What actually kicks off, of course, is Tasheba herself, whose inaccessible private island off the Maine coast is awash in dead telephones, recorded screams, telltale cufflinks and feather boas, as well as suspects who wonder whether Tasheba's longtime companion Cavender Marsh really killed his wife, Lilith Brayne, back in 1938 in order to spend the rest of his life with her sister. Detection honors go to ex-FBI agent Gregor Demarkian, who spends an awful long time working up to the obvious solution. Minor Haddam, this cheerfully brazen homage to Ten Little Indians still has all the sparkle and complexity her fans have come to expect. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description