Building-developer Jake Wilding; his cousin Nigel Fontenoy, an antique jewelry dealer; and Tom Callaghan, a TV talk-show...

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AN ACCIDENTAL SHROUD

Building-developer Jake Wilding; his cousin Nigel Fontenoy, an antique jewelry dealer; and Tom Callaghan, a TV talk-show host, have grown up together in the town of Lavenstock, home to CDI Gil Mayo (The Company She Kept, p. 1099, etc.), and now to newly promoted DI Abigail Moon. Abigail's first big case is the killing of Nigel Fontenoy, who is found after an awesome storm in a tatty alley next to the Rose bar. It doesn't take long to uncover a clutch of motives for Nigel's demise--among them his fondness for young girls, one of them Callaghan's 16-year-old daughter, who'd thrown herself under a bus years before. Jake Wilding's son Matthew, interested only in race cars, worked, reluctantly, in Nigel's elegant shop and has been left a substantial share of his estate. Meanwhile, Wilding's first wife Naomi had left him and Matthew long ago to live a wanton, gypsyish life. She's now back in Lavenstock with her motorcycle-riding, butch daughter Cassie and a twentysomething son Joss, who may or may not have been fathered by Jake. Toss into this cauldron a priceless Faberg‚ piece, separated from its provenance; another killing; and a slew of disturbing interrelationships. It all makes for lively entertainment, enhanced by the author's forthright style, some resonant characters, a subdued village ambiance, and a puzzle neatly deconstructed but with minimum help from Lavenstock's likable police team.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996