WHO KILLED THE ROBINS FAMILY? by Bill & Thomas Chastain Adler


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A contest, not really mystery--fiction. The publisher is offering a $10,000 cash prize to the reader who offers the best solution for the eight murders in this fiat, brief quasinovel--which ploddingly knocks off each member of the rich, internationally far-flung Robins family. There's a locked-room murder, a garroting on the Orient Express; a plunge from a tower, a suffocation, a car-bomb, etc. The motives include business shenanigans, adultery, blackmail secrets, and other standbys--along with some heavyhanded red herrings. But despite some obvious references to Agatha Christie, the colorless, all-plot format is reminiscent (at best) of the weakest Charlie Chart movies--and the halfhearted parody has none of the wit of such other family kill-a-thons as List of Adrian Messenger or Kind Hearts and Coronets. (Also, one gets the distinct feeling that the authors' secret solutions to the murders will be a tangled jumble rather than a dazzling, clever-yet-simple windup à la Christie.) Only for contest-entrants, then--who'll need the challenge of the game, not to mention the $10,000 lure, to keep them awake through the short yet listless narrative.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1983
Publisher: Morrow