Lawyer Lennox Kemp of Newtown, England (Touch and Go, 1993, etc.), is back, this time with a new wife— the plain and plain- spoken Mary Blane, an Irish-American. Lennox is happy in his marriage but currently dismayed by a series of letters he's been getting—vindictive, threatening, unsigned—and he's concerned even more by a story about the letters in the local newspaper. Lennox is especially uneasy about anything that might cast a shadow on the reputation of Gillorn's, his law firm. When Tony Lambert, a young, fondly regarded member of the firm is killed by a blow to the head, the body found beside Lennox's car, wearing a coat similar to his, Lennox is sure Lambert was mistakenly killed in his place by the unknown letter writer. Meanwhile, longtime friend Detective Inspector John Upshire is getting nowhere with the case, and Lennox's usual deductive powers have given way to feelings of guilt and depression. Mary decides she must do something and proceeds to nose about—concentrating mainly on Anita Allardyce, Lambert's ebullient Australian fiancÇe, to whom he'd willed his considerable fortune, and on her overbearing brother Zachary. Mary solves part of the puzzle with dispatch, but nearly comes to grief with the more challenging and dangerous business of murder, rousing Lennox from his lethargy to pursue the clues that will solve the mystery and keep Mary out of harm's way. Nicely done, with all the traditional British touches, but Mary, not unappealing in her diamond-in-the-rough way, can't hold a candle to a Lennox in full command of his sleuthing prowess. Readers can hope he'll be back on track next time out.
Read full book review >