- Publisher: Scribner (June 1 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684184664
- ISBN-13: 978-0684184661
- Parcel Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,154,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dead Romantic Hardcover – Jun 1 1986
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Most are light-hearted, and most feature a less than flawless sleuth. This one is not light-hearted and has no sleuth. Brett presents us with a puzzle and challenges us to solve it. Be warned. Listen carefully to names, and pronouns. The puzzles pieces may not be what they appear to be.
Brett has contrived the puzzle with great skill. Almost every occurrence is plausible, although I find it hard to accept that a woman would wipe down kitchen benches while wearing "long Hollywood style evening gloves". You won't like any of the characters in this book, especially the female tutor whose every utterance is a cliché, but you'll admire the story-teller's skills.
Virginity and the way three different characters resolve their angst over that status is a theme of sorts in this novel. Madeline Severn is a 37-year-old tutor at a language school. One of her pupils, 19-year-old Paul, is virtually unable to think about anything else apart from how he can lose his virginity--preferably with Madeline. Madeline seems to be interested in someone else (another teacher at the institution), and Paul must deal with his feelings about a more suitable suitor for Madeline.
Things culminate in a remote cottage where, one weekend, Madeline plans to lose her virginity. A dead body is found in the cottage after the weekend, and the remaining living characters move along pleasantly with their lives. This despite the fact that one of them is a murderer! I won't read any more Simon Brett--there just isn't much thought or psychology to the characters, crime, or motives in this story.