MAZE by A. H. Garnet


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Again, as in The Santa Claus Killer (1981), Garnet does a solid, lively job with a suspense genre--this time an old-fashioned, slightly farcical mystery--but allows things to run on too long. . . and downhill. His Ellery Queen-ish sleuth is Cyrus Wilson, English prof and author of YA mysteries--who's called in to help the police when lawyer,/ prof Arthur Browne (a girl-chasing dandy) is found baked to death in the Law Club kitchen's oven. Was the killer one of Browne's dissatisfied clients? That's the theory--till coach Wally Lassiter is shot on the field. And it then appears that Browne and Lassiter had something in common: a porno/sex ring. But why does victim #3 die--an English prof with no such sleazy interests? Could it be that his cyanide cocktail was meant for kinky visiting poet Mary Louise Hillman? Wilson eventually finds the common-denominator, identifying the psycho killer (a let-down sort of solution); and the stretched-out final chapters switch from mystery to showdown suspense as the killer is trapped at last. So: a slightly uneasy mix of comic sleuthing and psycho-suspense--but the campus touches are droll, and Wilson's likable enough to deserve a bona fide mystery next time around.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1982
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields/Houghton Mifflin