DEATH ON THE ENO by Amanda Mackay


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Rather bland and passive, young professor-sleuth Dr. Hannah Land (political science, Duke) is no threat at all to Amanda Cross' Kate Fansler; but this second case (the first was Death is Academic) is a genial enough diversion, set in the rich land country outside of Durham. Businessman Luther Turnbull--brother of Hannah's colleague Maynard--has died in a canoeing ""accident"" on the Eno River, but visitor Hannah (who promptly breaks her leg and is put up on Maynard's estate) suspects murder. The prime suspects? Luther's wife Elizabeth, whose intellect he stifled. Neighboring landowner Susan Warrick, whom Luther was pressing financially. And visiting mobster Johnny Taranto (a rather overdone red herring), with whom Luther seems to have had some shady dealings--perhaps involving the hijacking of cigarette-carrying trucks. Hannah, laid-up, does some very inactive sleuthing, with an occasional, assist from nice cop Bobby Jenkins. And before the solution (a so-so one) is revealed, prime suspect Susan will be pushed off a cliff, and Maynard's rebellious son will nearly die in a cave-in. Somewhat overlong and slack--with too little definition of Hannah and her bashful academic suitor--but it's often charming, never unpleasant, and a fair bet for those who like the more leisurely items in the Ngaio Marsh canon.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1981
Publisher: Little, Brown