Another case, not very engrossing this time, for quietly competent Chief Inspector David Webb of Shillingham CID (A Shroud...

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THE NINE BRIGHT SHINERS

Another case, not very engrossing this time, for quietly competent Chief Inspector David Webb of Shillingham CID (A Shroud for Delilah). The drowned body of free-lance journalist Guy Marriott has been found, on his turf, dressed in rags embellished with nine green sequins and carrying the wallet of explorer Edward Langley, now in Peru with wife Rowena. Webb soon learns from Edward's half-sister Jan that Edward is out of the country and that his wallet had been stolen some time before. Jan, separated from husband Roger, has come from Australia with her two children to spend the weeks over Christmas at Rylands, the family home. It turns out that Rowena is also the daughter of Reginald Peel, who--along with Jan's father, William Langley, and Laurence Coady--had discovered the lost Incan city of Cajabamba back in the 50s, on their third expedition. All three explorers are now dead. Coady's artist son Miles, living near Rylands, is uninterested; only Edward and Rowena continue to explore Peru. Meanwhile, Jan has often wondered why the original trio had never gone back after their successful expedition. Her children, exploring the dark reaches of Rylands, find one answer, but only after the murder of housekeeper Lily and Webb's trip to Peru does it all come together--not very convincingly. The plot, after an intriguing start, wobbles to its shaky conclusion, while the characters, unfailingly polite and bloodless, are too much with us; the Inspector too little. Readable, sporadically absorbing, but the weakest of Fraser's output to date.

Pub Date: March 11, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988