Another of the author's labyrinthine plots has ex-police detective Richard Patton (Still Life With Pistol) traveling in...

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AN ALIBI TOO SOON

Another of the author's labyrinthine plots has ex-police detective Richard Patton (Still Life With Pistol) traveling in Wales with wife Amelia. He decides to visit retired friend and colleague Llew Hughes, only to find the barn afire and Hughes beyond rescue. There's evidence that Hughes, writing his memoirs, had spotted flaws in an old murder case that had sent church-organist Duncan Carter to jail for ten years for the murder of his playwright uncle Edwin Carter. Local police inspector Victor Grayson turns a deaf ear to Patton's suspicions of foul play in the fire or a fault in the old murder case. It turns out that Edwin died in the garage of his house during a party attended by secretary-niece Rosemary Trew, nephew Duncan, actors Drew Pierson and Mildred Niven, and sleazy movie producer Clyde Greenslade. Rosemary, who still lives in the house, now directs Edwin's plays and is rehearsing there, with Pierson and Niven. But Duncan Carter, released from jail, shows no desire to resume his pallid relationship with Rosemary. In the meantime, everyone tolerates Patton's insistent questions about the fatal night--the garage locks, the timing of Edwin's erratic trip to get more booze--while Amelia spends her time in the old mill that she and Richard are thinking of buying, and Inspector Grayson fumes at the outsider's interference. . .until it all erupts with a new murder and the uncovering of a secret from Edwin's past that leads to his true killer. The plot's tedious complexity, artificial-sounding dialogue, unreal people, and lurching pace will be a test of patience for all but Omerod fans, who might find it worthwhile.

Pub Date: March 1, 1988

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Scribners

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988