From Publishers Weekly
Spiritualist Clarissa Cantelo's death reunites her surviving family members, an eccentric clan guarding some dark secrets, in this blackly comic whodunit from prolific British author Barnard (A Cry from the Dark
). When Clarissa's nephew and heir, lawyer Merlyn Docherty, who's been living in Brussels, resurfaces after two decades, his relatives challenge his claim; everyone thought he was long dead. Motivated by self-preservation to probe the Cantelo family's twisted dynamics and complex alliances, Merlyn slowly pieces together a pattern that hints at conspiracies and sexual deviancy. An attempt on his life that claims another's suggests he's getting too close to the truth for someone's comfort. Fans of classic murder puzzles will be delighted by the careful hiding of clues in plain sight. Few writers of contemporary mysteries can equal Barnard's ability to meld a clever fair-play plot with satire.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Aunt Clarissa has just died, leaving everything (she was heir to a shirt-manufacturing fortune) to her nephew Merlyn, who has been living abroad for years in Brussels. When Merlyn returns to Leeds to claim his rightful inheritance, he confronts his dysfunctional extended family once again, all of whom are surprised to see that he is still alive, since Aunt Clarissa had suggested otherwise. But there is more in the air than simply the usual family discord--in fact, the atmosphere hints of a family conspiracy to keep information away from him. The body "in question" here--Barnard writes, after all, traditional British whodunits--is not Aunt Clarissa's but, as it turns out, that of the old family patriarch who died years ago. Barnard's novels may be traditional, but they are certainly not tired. His latest Police Sergeant Charlie Peace tale is a fresh take on family inheritance, at the same time exhibiting all the author's greatly appreciated traits, including charm, wit, and excellent pacing. Brad HooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved