Nursery Crimes Hardcover – Jun 9 1987
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From Publishers Weekly
Award-winning crime novelist Gill tops Death Drop and The Twelfth Juror with her latest thriller. The reader is transfixed by Susannah "Zanny" Moncrief, age six when she drowns little Willie, who with his sister Dolly was evacuated during World War II from heavily shelled Birmingham and found sanctuary with the Moncriefs in Wales. The lovely, seraphic killer escapes suspicion by the police; but her parents and Dolly know, without saying so, what happened. Older and tougher than her brother, Dolly has been absorbing facts about the "posh" life during their stay with the wealthy family. She survives Zanny's second lethal attempt and, benefiting from the Moncriefs' fear- and guilt-ridden largesse, lands in an exclusive boarding school with Zanny, of whom she remains wary. All is well until Zanny, 15, falls for the school's gardener, Murphy, and sends his lover, Bridget, over a cliff to her death. For this crime, Murphy is doomed to hang, and here the author reveals the greatest ingenuity. There is no hint at the stunner ending of this wickedly witty, stylish story.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In WW II Britain during the worst of the Nazi bombings, city children were farmed out to safety in rural England. Two orphans ("Little Willie" age 4 and "Dolly" age 7) from the slums of Birmingham are unlucky enough to find a home with an the upper-middle-class couple with a spoiled 6-year-old daughter ("Zanny"), who promptly drowns Little Willie in the backyard fish pond while his sister watches. The family and the whole community--including the constabulary--bend over backwards to avoid accusing golden-haired Zanny of murder. Unfortunately, by refusing to believe the worst about the little angel, they make it easy for her to become a serial killer before she graduates from school. The plot is clever, the characters are rich, and the prose is impeccable.