A LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD MURDER by A.J. Orde

A LITTLE NEIGHBORHOOD MURDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A very English novel--small, compact, cozy--which happens to be set in the US and is hauntingly sad until the denouement, which is wildly improbable spy balderdash. Widowed antiques-dealer/decorator Jason Lynx agrees to walk the neighbors' dogs--and returns them to find a bomb parcel in the foyer. The Whitneys (she a kuvasz breeder; he a stalwart of a Christian broadcasting station) seem mystified, as do the police, but the next day the two are murdered in their kitchen--and their unpretentious house is crammed with million-dollar antique furniture (rogue cop Reynard pinches an antique box). With the help of assistant Mark and Det. Grace Willis (working without Reynard's knowledge), Jason discovers that good neighbor George fiddled with the radio station's books; was being stalked by persons unknown; and, devastatingly, has the locket Jason's wife was wearing on the day she disappeared. Did George and his wife Betty kill Agatha Lynx eight years ago, and why? (She was an FBI file clerk.) The answers hinge on international dog shows; secret messages innocently passed on religious airwaves; a wealthy Lynx client with another identity; and a special Russian town where ""Americans"" are created. The basement finale solves the three murders, causes several more, and brings a kind of peace to the long-suffering Lynx. Tender, moving, and painful ill establishing Lynx's character, but much overblown in developing the Russian/Americans. Still, better than most first novels, with appealing insider stuff on Hungarian dogs and fancy antiques.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1989
Publisher: Doubleday