WORDS FOR MURDER PERHAPS by Edward Candy
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WORDS FOR MURDER PERHAPS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like Bones of Contention (UK, 1954; US, 1983), this literate Candy mystery arrives in America some years after its original British publication (1971)--and is well worth the wait. This time the unlikely-but-charming hero is Greg Roberts, English prof at a Midlands university and part-time lecturer at the town's adult-education center. The puzzle? Well, brilliant, womanizing academic Bill Harvey has disappeared. And his wife Audrey--who used to be married to Greg (he suffered a nervous breakdown over the divorce)--has received in the mail an unsigned quotation from Cowley's elegy ""On the Death of Mr. William Hervey."" So the local cop, Inspector Hunt, seems bent on proving Greg's involvement in the Harvey disappearance--especially when another instance of foul-play-with-quotation occurs: a visiting Egyptologist dies of cyanide poisoning, with a relevant Tennyson elegy found on Greg's desk! And, before the villain is unmasked, there'll be yet a third victim/allusion combo. . . while poor Greg goes through hell, his misery somewhat eased by a new student in his class: pretty young widow Nan Jones, who's obviously drawn to him. True, this isn't quite as neat as Bones of Contention, with disappointing motivation for the culprit. But Candy's wit, irony, and erudition are again on grand display--making the most of sharply etched characters, a touching love story, and a whimsical subplot involving the adult-ed center's late benefactress.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday