Books by Susannah Stacey

BONE IDLE by Susannah Stacey
Released: Sept. 4, 1995

Widower Police Superintendent Robert Bone (The Late Lady, 1993, etc.) and new wife Grizel are weekending at Roke Castle, home of Grizel's longtime friend Jane, wife of saturnine Lord Benet Paisley Roke. Their visit coincides with that of a group touring stately homes under the direction of old hand Nicholas Buchanan. Several in the group already know their devilish hostlittle Donald Spencer, whose dead daughter had been besotted with Roke; Josh Lawson, given to forbidden picture-taking, who may have robbed him; architect Ben Maitland, whose reputation was sullied by Roke; Angela North, the Lord's first wife, back from 20 years in Australia with son Basil, who may be Roke's legitimate heir. Meanwhile, Robert and Grizel have met the Roke householdtouchy, motorcycle-enamored son Guy and his exotically dressed fiancÇe, Keziah; two younger sons; unflappable butler Knebworth; perpetual houseguest Adrian Nash, a gold-haired, arrogant hunk; and shy Marcus Weatherby, custodian of the Castle's librarypornography and all. Lord Roke shows his visitors around the castle, playing nasty pranks as he goes, and within hours he's deaddressed in ancient armor and shot through the neck with an arrow. Uncouth local Inspector Prior takes charge of the case, but it's Bone, of course, who eventually delivers the culprit into his hands. The various entanglements, romantic and otherwise, get sharper attention here than the muddled mystery and its flabby solution. Readable but far from riveting. Read full book review >
THE LATE LADY by Susannah Stacey
Released: March 1, 1993

Trouble is again afoot in the Kentish countryside for introspective Superintendent Bone (A Knife at the Opera, etc.), who delivers a punk hitchhiker to Paleys, her home, and, over the backdrop of shrieking peacocks, finds matriarch Ysobel Marsh suffering heart spasms as househelper Anna falls to her death on top of her—a victim of a carelessly placed skateboard. Next, Ysobel's craftswoman daughter-in-law Fenny is stabbed with a spindle in her studio, and the body of Ysobel's son's first wife, intrepid explorer Kingsley—who simply disappeared ten years ago- -comes tumbling out of a retaining wall. Who's killing the women in Jake Marsh's household? Jake himself, a writer, seems interested only in finishing his latest book, although there are two other constants in his life: his afternoon tea with devoted mum Ysobel and his dalliances. Bone and his ever-hungry associate Locker, with thoroughness and a nod to the good cop/bad cop technique, interrogate all. There'll be one more murder attempt, however, before Bone can turn his attention from hate to love—and to his marriage with local schoolteacher Grizel. A superior tale with numerous strong-minded, independent women—and further proof that Bone is not only as sensitive as Dalgleish but well deserving of a wider audience. Read full book review >
Released: April 25, 1991

The warmly appealing Superintendent Bone (Body of Opinion, etc.) takes a back seat here as the focus is on the bizarre and loathsome Clare family, dying off in bizarre and loathsome fashion: Finicky-clean Lionel Clare emerges from the carwash with his throat slit, while the mother he was estranged from, the morosely mad Miranda, and her twin brother Kay are left hand in hand in a gross parody of tenderness in their manor's oddly furnished (life-size mannequins abound) bedroom. Did Lionel kill mummy and uncle (who possibly was his dad), then himselfor did his younger brother, the guilt-ridden Clovis, murder them all? Miranda's diaries provide clues, but, meanwhile, Lionel's tacky wife wants a gander at the will; Miranda's ex, the stuffy Edwin, wants his family heirloom necklace returned; and the childlike Adam, who lived in a treehouse outside Miranda's window, confesses, more dies before Bone sorts through years-old chaos to name the guilty. Lacks Stacey's usual humor and the pacing slows with overlong quotes from Miranda's diaries. Overall, then, a lesser, most eccentric effort. Read full book review >