Books by Michael David Anthony

MIDNIGHT COME by Michael David Anthony
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 8, 1999

A third adventure for ex-army officer Richard Harrison, whose present job as overseer of the Delapidations Board of Canterbury Cathedral has proved to be less placid than it sounds (The Becket Factor, 1991, etc.). Now an anonymous letter has been received by Archdeacon Cawthorne accusing his old friend Reverend Maurice Lambkin, a widower living in nearby Wetmarsh Marden, of having an affair (as his wife was dying) with Stella Gittings, a soon-to-be- ordained married woman. Some church property is to be disposed of in Wetmarsh Marden, and Dean Ingrams asks Harrison to join church architect Helen Middlebrook on her planned visit there, perhaps to explore Lambkin's reaction to the letter. What they find, in a shabby annex to Lambkin's house, is Maurice's bullet-riddled body near that of his son Jonathan, in what appears to be murder followed by Jonathan's suicide. Harrison, though, is unconvinced by the official verdict and begins his own search for the truth—with scant encouragement from his wheelchair-bound wife Winnie. He talks to Jonathan's girlfriend and learns that Jonathan had been researching a major robbery of 30 years ago. Harrison's further explorations completely refute the widely held picture of Jonathan as a penniless, irresponsible failure. Meanwhile, provision must be made for Lambkin's longtime faithful servants George and Mavis Frome, setting the stage of a replay of a crime that brings the truth to the fore. An unconvincing, only sporadically interesting story: the author tries for a leisurely, old-fashioned narrative style but succeeds only in slowing the pace. Read full book review >
DARK PROVENANCE by Michael David Anthony
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 5, 1995

In the diocese of Canterbury Cathedral, onetime intelligence officer Richard Harrison, who now serves as overseer of building maintenance, lives quietly with wheelchair-bound wife Winnie. Returning from a holiday in Italy, he meets a disquieting reception—newly installed Archdeacon Cawthorne is on a budget- cutting rampage and proposes, among other things, to banish ailing ex-rector Tom Dove and wife Joyce from the home they'd been promised would be theirs for life. Also awaiting Harrison's return is Rachel Miller—an American whose father David, a retired lawyer and antiques expert who had only months to live, has apparently committed suicide after coming to Canterbury to see Harrison, leaving an uninformative message on his phone tape. Bewildered at first, Harrison soon realizes that many years ago Miller was Muller—his wartime interpreter and staff-sergeant in Berlin—a young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. Rachel gives Harrison an envelope, scrawled with a list of names, that was found in her father's pocket, putting in motion a stream of questions that involve wartime clerical resistance fighters, secret family ties, a pair of porcelain figurines, churchwarden Ruth Hodge, diocesan architect George Davidson, the seeming suicide of Tom Dove, and a series of wrenching moral decisions Harrison must make as answers are found. Plotting that's original and inventive but numbingly complex, plus an overload of dim minor characters and a ponderously wordy style—all make for a disappointing follow-up to the author's well- received debut novel (The Becket Factor, 1991). Read full book review >
THE BECKET FACTOR by Michael David Anthony
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 21, 1991

Shades of Blount and Burgess glimmer in—of all places- -Canterbury Cathedral, when ex-Intelligence agent Richard Harrison, now supervisor of the church's infrastructure (Diocesan Dilapidations Officer) is prevailed upon by Brigadier Greville, his one-time boss, to begin a secret investigation within the Cathedral's precincts. A new Archbishop is soon to be chosen; a leading candidate is Bishop Maurice Campion, whose outspoken liberal views are anathema in some powerful quarters. Greville thinks that there may be a sinister connection between Campion and the recent death of Canon Cratchley, and that the journals of the late Bishop Harvey Watson, Campion's close associate, may uncover a treacherous past. Harrison's wheelchair-bound wife Winnie is dismayed at this intrusion into their quiet lives, but Harrison stubbornly follows a confusing trail that lurches through a welter of red herrings, double-crosses and shocking revelations to its bleak conclusion. Echoes of le CarrÇ abound in this elegantly written, densely overplotted first novel—full of the ritual, pomp and underpinnings of the great cathedral. More clarity, simplicity, and economy might make the author's second even better. Read full book review >