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VILLAGE AFFAIRS by Cassandra Chan

VILLAGE AFFAIRS

By Cassandra Chan

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-33750-7
Publisher: Minotaur

Depressed ever since Annette Berowne dumped him (The Young Widow, 2005), Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons relies on a juicy murder case to cheer himself up.

Wealthy Philip Bethancourt’s girlfriend Marla is doing a photo shoot in a small Cotswolds village, where they’re staying with a family friend. The death of villager Charlie Bingham proves to be just the tonic for Philip’s pal Jack. At first, the cause appears to be a heart attack, but forensics shows that Charlie had taken Seconal and that his body had been moved. The suspects include a mysterious lady friend and Charlie’s daughter Eve. Few realized that Charlie, who led a quiet life in a small cottage, was very wealthy. He had spent years abroad, seeing little of his daughter and business partner, who may not have been thrilled to see him return. Charlie’s secret girlfriend is the famous actress Joan Bonnar, whose adult twin children, neither happy about the time Joan spends at her Cotswold home, were raised by the housekeeper. After Joan’s body is discovered in a lake, Jack chases down clues while Philip chats up the locals. The vicar’s beautiful, unorthodox wife is nearly the final victim before the murders are solved.

Gibbons and Bethancourt’s second adventure is another enjoyably lighthearted look at murder among the upper classes.