A PAIR FOR THE QUEEN by B. Comfort

A PAIR FOR THE QUEEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Even before she turned 77, Tish McWhinny was not the kind of girl who’d forge an Old Master. So when her friend Hilary Oats asks her to paint a dog picture in, let’s say, an older style that his scapegrace godson Bruce Hemphill can use to kick off his canine art concession at an upcoming dog show, Tish politely bridles—and then has the clever idea of creatively “restoring” an old painting she’s dug up. But when Bruce cleans up Tish’s masterwork for exhibition, the name “Landseer” magically appears in the corner, leading to a pair of thorny ethical dilemmas: How seriously have Tish’s ministrations damaged what might be a pricey commodity, and what should she tell Bruce about her part in his windfall? Fortunately, Bruce cuts the Gordian knot by getting himself murdered and the painting stolen (by laughably hearty new storekeeper Jeremy Blount or his anorexic child bride Lily? by Bruce’s ex Jean or her new husband, haw-haw Texan Jack Connors? by Bruce’s coolly divorced daughter Kim or her friend George Rouse, who has a lot of interesting adventures for a student in Harvard Business School? by Tish’s ex-lover Ian Bixler, who’s emerged from fifty years of obscurity in the Royal Navy to come sniffing around Tish again?). It’ll take all Tish’s Vermont ingenuity, plus several rounds of extra-strength Ben-Gay, to ferret out the truth. Tish’s fifth (Elusive Quarry, 1995, etc.) provides loads of the kind of civilized excitement she captures in her ejaculation: “Oh, my Lord! I had nearly forgotten that it was the day Mabel Boland brought her pumpkin scones to the store.”

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-393-04627-3
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1998




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