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Virginia Freer's long and amiably separated husband Felix (Thinner Than Water, etc.), at the end of yet another nowhere job, arrives for a visit at Virginia's Allingford house just in time to witness the hit-and-run killing of her elderly neighbor Malcolm Creed. That disaster, however, is eclipsed soon after by the murder of Mrs. Bulpitt, Virginia's next-door neighbor, a woman seemingly indigent but devoted to good works. She had arranged for young Sue Locker to help care for Creed's widow, Julia, just released from a hospital, but Julia doesn't like Sue or her motorcycle-riding boyfriend, Simon Prescott. Virginia lends a hand as she and Felix, who's settled in for a few days, try to make sense out of Mrs. Bulpitt's surprising legacy--a small fortune; a clutch of porno photos; and a well-hidden past, part of which may connect to local doctor Denis Gambrell, who drives a silver Jaguar like the one that killed Creed. There are heavy hints of blackmail, a mysteriously vanished package of money, and another murder before Felix--in his usual desultory fashion--comes up with a solution and a limply motivated culprit. A rambling, chatty, low-keyed puzzle from a veteran whose fans expect no fireworks--and get none here.

Pub Date: June 27th, 1990
Publisher: Doubleday