Only two of Moffat's half-dozen mysteries have been US-published (the last was Over the Sea to Death, 1976); and this importation of her latest is most welcome, even if the windup is an awfully talky let-down. Again the sleuth is Miss Melinda Pink, an unfussy, middle-aged Justice of the Peace on mountain-climbing vacation--this time on the Snowdonian crests of Wales. And again Moffat sketches in a grand lot of nasty, feuding, long-suffering locals: the much-loathed local squire, philandering Richard Judson--who keeps killer dogs; visiting mountaineer Maggie Seale, an amoral beauty who spurns Judson and takes up with the resident Nature Reserve guardian; plus the innkeeper and his wife (a Judson conquest, as is the innkeeper's cook). Motives abound, then--when one of the Judson dogs is found dead, when Judson disappears (later found shot to death in his adulterous love-nest), and when Judson's henchman also turns up dead (a bizarre apparent suicide). But the actual solution, which comes after much chat about tricky alibis (some of which involve the Snowdonian climbs), is disappointingly prosaic. Still: a lively, tartly shrewd mystery-diversion overall--with a convincing portrait of a Wales-valley village and plenty of scenic details for Moffat's fellow mountaineering buffs.
Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1982
Page Count: -
Publisher: Victor Gollancz--dist. by David & Charles