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- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read only four of B M Gill's mysteries, but already she's among my favorite authors. NURSERY CRIMES is a sort of "Bad Seed" story with both a child murderer (an underage killer, not a killer of children, well not entirely) and a child amateur sleuth who longs to grow up to be a lawyer.
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.