Elizabeth Lamb Worthington, the eleven-year-old sleuthette of Champagne and a Gardener and Port and a Star Boarder, is now...

READ REVIEW

BEER AND SKITTLES

Elizabeth Lamb Worthington, the eleven-year-old sleuthette of Champagne and a Gardener and Port and a Star Boarder, is now staying with her elderly cousin, Gen. Lem Alison, U.S. M.C. (Ret.), at his summer home in the exclusive Northeast Harbor area of Maine's Mount Desert Island. (Alison, something of a lecherous buffoon, is supposedly modeled on historian Samuel Eliot Morison, the author's onetime father-in-law.) The General's household also includes buxom secretary Colleen O'Cassidy, who's blatantly succumbing to her employer's bawdy advances (and planning to blackmail him). The neighbors are an equally noisy crew: 60-ish Catherine Hackley, brewer of deluxe root beer; her raunchy daughter Cynthia, who's playing hostess to two jazz musicians; Cynthia's Harvard-undergrad son Philip, a reluctant summer worker in grandma Catherine's cottage industry. And, like Morison's previous efforts, this amateurish mystery is largely given over to mildly satiric, faintly amusing close-ups of upper-class eccentrics in nonstop chit-chat. (Morison, according to the biography here, writes ""in the style of Jane Austin"" [sic].) Eventually, however, more than a little mayhem intrudes: Elizabeth finds the body of a young mariner on the beach; the General's houseman is murdered with poison gas; one of the unlikely villains--responsible for the usual ho-hum drug smuggling--commits suicide-by-arson. And there's an interminable windup discussion to explain all the goings-on. . .as insufferable Elizabeth helps the local police in putting the limp, implausible pieces together. Only for those who absolutely dote on arch, summery banter (some of which is surprisingly off-color this time) and Maine-society lore.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Thorndike

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985