AN AUTUMN IN ARABY by Carols Salisbury
Kirkus Star


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Another of Salisbury's speedy, good-humored Victorian suspense adventures, this time cavorting from a spooky Suffolk castle to a crowded Cairo-bound steamer to murder threats at the Suez Canal opening. Suzanna Copley, Devon farm-girl, still mourning the death of her love, graduates from Miss Nightingale's school of nursing and undertakes the care of sickly little Rupert, child of famous painter Justin Omerod--a forlorn widower mooning about in his dead wife's castle. Suzanna's shrewd sleuthing (and the arrival of Clovis, a ridiculously appealing pug dog) revive Rupert. But after the strange nearby death of an unpleasant visitor and an old crone's prophecy, Justin decides to take along with him to Cairo (he's been invited by the khedive of Egypt to paint the Suez proceedings) not only Rupert, and his housekeeper, but also nurse Suzanna. So, on the impressive Hindustani, Suzanna will meet at sea: that predatory hooting aristocrat, the Honorable Petronella Marchcombe; the delightfully outrageous American matron who out-hoots her, Mrs. Wayne Barlow; a stiff-upper Major; a camera-buff clergyman, Dean Sommerson; a journalist from Indiana, Hal Marius, whose life-ambition involves a golf ball and the Great Pyramid. And soon Suzanna is nervously noting some nasty, prophecy-related doings: Rupert is narrowly missed by a falling crate; Justin is left for dead--carved by the sword of an assassin caught by Dean Sommerson's camera; the Major goes overboard; and delirious Justin murmurs about ""Esmee""--which was not his beloved wife's name. In Cairo there are splendid feasts and occasions. But Suzanna will have a dreadful encounter in a dangerous marketplace; the clergyman will die (poison?). And Suzanna discovers that she is loved by three men--including at least one who's up to no good at Suez. With pug Clovis, always underfoot, as a bug-eyed grace note: good fun--and fast.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday