THE HONOUR OF RAVENSHOLME by Caroline Stafford

THE HONOUR OF RAVENSHOLME

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Ravensholme is a manse in mid-19th-century England, and its ""honour"" is a 600-year-old Viking goblet in which Harald, husband of the blind mistress of the house (heroine Elizabeth Winton is her goddaughter and companion), takes an in. ordinate family-proud interest. Mystery stacks on mystery as a creepy threesome--Harald's sister Freya, Freya's second husband, and Harald--all seem to be quivering with secrets. And since Elizabeth is suspected of knowing the truth about a quiet family murder, she is (1) barely missed by falling slate, (2) nearly drowned by a ruse, (3) has her quince jelly poisoned, (4) is given a compass rigged to make sure she gets lost, (5) is just grazed by a spear. Moreover, circling this narrative mess from time to time is the schoolmaster who turns out to be none other than the late unlamented murderee! Not surprisingly, considering the vagaries of the plot, there are marathon stretches of explanation at the close--but not till after two deaths, a near-incineration in the cellar, a visit to an ancient burial ground, and a duel with broadswords. Only addicts may find it worthwhile to follow the main arteries of one of the more coagulated plots in the genre.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1979
Publisher: Simon & Schuster