Books by Anna Shone

Released: April 12, 1996

In this second appearance, London-based p.i. Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue (Mr. Donaghue Investigates, 1995) is persuaded to join an old friend, Dr. Clothilde Blanche, on a weekend trip to a valley in the French Alps where handsome, arrogant archaeologist Oliver Hardcastle has recently discovered Bronze Age inscriptions. Among fellow guests at the mountain lodge, run by Mario and Michou Antonelli, is Sir Hilary Compton, who, 20 years ago, found Bronze Age drawings at a site nearby. His frumpy wife, Beatrice, is just one of the women at the lodge targeted for seduction by Hardcastle, also in residence, while Sir Hilary examines the new find and rules on its authenticity. Soon, however, Hardcastle's body is found in a pool called the Lake of Shadows, and the lodge's pet parrot Petrocelli is found poisoned in its cage while a storm rages on the mountain, delaying outside help. Donaghue investigates on his own, questioning all the residents at interminable length, then coming up with a theory unimpressive even to the authorities when they finally arrive. The true solution, based on Sir Hilary's antic, over-the-top mind-set, is even sillier, though, in this show-offy exercise meant to evoke shades of Conan Doyle and Christie. Read full book review >
Released: July 14, 1995

Shone's first novel is an endearingly amateurish Agatha Christie pastiche with echoes of Death on the Nile, Appointment with Death, and Mrs. McGinty's Dead, among others. Ulysses Finnegan Donaghue, her Irish Poirot, is hired to protect singer/actress Salome (nÇe Sandra Trescott) from unspecified threats that her mother's worried about. Agreeing to take the case when he returns from his vacation in the south of France, Donaghue fortuitously ends up staying at the abbey retreat that Sandra's aging filmmaker husband, Thelonius Kapp, is inauguratingonly to find that Sandra's about the only one who's not at risk, as three of the assembled company die within hours. As Donaghue interviews the dozen gratuitous suspects, most of them as insubstantial as ghosts, author Shone, in the spirit of her great original, trots out a mysteriously monogrammed brooch, a floor plan of the abbey, a million coincidences and red herrings, and a denouement that seems to run longer than The Mousetrap. A guilty pleasure for hardcore fans of the formal detective novel, though most readers will take it as indication enough of why the fashion passed. If you've ever wondered what Agatha Christie's characters would talk about if they came back in the '90s, you'll find that there's precious little on their minds. Read full book review >