Books by Ann Quinton

Released: March 1, 2001

"Nick and Rachel don't exactly shine as detectives, but Kevin's murder eventually does get sorted out with due care—which is more than you can say for that clutter of subplots, most of which are wound up with insolently convenient dispatch."
Murder most foul barely registers against the complications Quinton (Some Foul Play, 1997) has already heaped onto her plate. There's Dorset DI Nick Holroyd's discovery that his ten-year-old divorce never became final, and that the son his estranged wife bore in 1992 may have been his—quite a setback for physiotherapist Rachel Morland, his fiancée. There's the sudden return of Ben Latimer, the infant Rachel's schoolteacher friend Reid Frobisher gave up for adoption, now a strapping 19-year-old who's decided to look up Mum. There's the disappearance of longtime pedophile Mervyn Dooley, flushed out of his Casterford neighborhood by the vigilantes who forced him into hiding—where, as Nick's dyspeptic super reminds him, he could be doing just about anything. There's local vicar Peter Stevenson's announcement that some century-old letters a parishioner recently unearthed may point to a never-published novel by favorite Dorset son Thomas Hardy. And there's the student production of West Side Story that's bringing together some of Reid's students and her significant other, bookseller Tony Pomfret, in not entirely happy combinations. One story—the killing of Kevin Compton, the fellow alumnus from a group home Ben had just caught up with—upstages all the others, but you'd need a crystal ball to tell which of them were going to end up entangled with it. Read full book review >
PUT OUT THE LIGHT by Ann Quinton
Released: June 1, 2000

Ellen Holroyd isn't really Detective Inspector Nick Holroyd's sister—his stepmother bore her out of wedlock years after his father died—but that's no reason why he shouldn't come down from Dorset to find out what's become of her. Is she the latest cloistered convert to the self-styled Children of Light, as brassy Claire Holroyd fears, or, still worse, the latest victim of the Wessex Rapist? Quinton (Some Foul Play, 1996) leavens Nick's search with hints of his continuing romance with widowed Rachel Morton, but even hardened Anglophiles will be hard-pressed to swallow all the coincidences here. Read full book review >
SOME FOUL PLAY by Ann Quinton
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

The woods were literally crawling with people who wanted to shoot landed solicitor Michael Benton—but his fellow-players in a game of Capture the Flag were horrified to find that someone had shot him with live ammunition instead of a paintball. Which one of Benton's buddies in the War Games Club (whose juvenile dedication to their preadolescent pastime Quinton never quite makes convincing) sidelined him for good? Sgt. Patrick Mansfield and his boss, Insp. James Roland, are dismayed to find that the nine gamesters creeping through the woods along with Benton merely head the list of suspects. There's also the grieving widow and her lover, Benton's ex-partner; Benton's own rumored lover, who's been unbalanced for years; the neighboring farmer who's been so chagrined at his failure to buy a parcel of Benton's land that he's been roaming that parcel with a metal detector; and the War Games players who said they'd been away from Felstone for the day—but who might always have sneaked back especially for the occasion. Pages of alternately colorless and unsubtle Q&A (Quinton's coppers don't conduct their inquiries with quite the finesse you may have come to expect from the Brits) reveal the usual dastardly secrets and an unsurprising killer, though a nice surprise is saved, like the cherry on a sundae, for the very end. The generic title is all too accurate. Humdrum plotting and unremarkable characters keep Quinton's first US publication off the top shelf. Read full book review >