Books by Pauline Bell

Released: Dec. 9, 1993

Within an hour of headmistress Sarah Bland's bludgeoning death, Detective Constable Benedict Mitchell and his colleagues have narrowed the field of suspects from 850 members of the Heath Lees Comprehensive School down to eight. It's still not far enough, though, as a clutch of constables struggle to sort out motives for paternal English master Julian Frayn, hypochondriacal history mistress Penny Stafford, overprotective biology mistress Glenys Freebourne (whose troublemaking son Neville is the bane of Heath Lees), and all the others. After the dust has settled, Mitchell and Co. will have identified the mysterious ``B'' with whom Sarah Bland made so many appointments, duly made an arrest, and left Heath Lees much as it was before. Bell (Murder at St. Oswald's, 1992) has come up with another low- octane cozy that won't keep anyone reading past bedtime. Read full book review >
MURDER AT ST. OSWALD'S by Pauline Bell
Released: Jan. 18, 1993

Chief-Inspector Browne and Detective Sergeant Hunter are among the parishioners at St. Oswald's annual festival when a burned corpse is discovered on the church grounds. The remains are eventually identified as those of Gary Carr, a frequently out-of- work mechanic whose wife Theresa claims he'd gone to another town on a temporary job. Theresa, her manipulative mother, teenage son Frank, and playacting daughter Anne-Marie—along with neighbors Christine and Glyn Morgan and their daughter Zoe—all appear to Inspector Browne to be hiding something. But even patient readers may have departed before his instincts are proved correct—defeated by a parade of wordy, ill-defined characters, lots of fuzzy psychobabble, an aimlessly meandering narrative, and more than they ever wanted to know about the history and rituals of the Anglican Church. An undoubtedly talented newcomer in dire need of discipline and direction. Read full book review >