A DEATH FOR A DILETTANTE by E.X. Giroux

A DEATH FOR A DILETTANTE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author's lawyer-sleuth Robert Forsythe and indomitable secretary Miss Sanderson deal once more with a blackhearted villain (A Death for a Darling). This time it's 70-ish Winslow Penndragon, outwardly a silver-haired paragon, a lifelong dilettante, womanizer, author, WW II flying ace, public figure, and totally self-seeking. Someone is trying to kill Winslow and, as Robert and Sandy discover when they join him at his country estate, motives abound. His long-widowed, sharp-tongued, sharp-eyed sister-in-law Grace has lived with and hated him for years; her 40-ish son Bunny is his right-hand aide. Obese housekeeper Linda was once his mistress; her brother Evans is the put-upon valet-butler. Meanwhile, Winslow has lately tracked down and invited to stay for a month his three grown out-of-wedlock children (by various mothers): homosexual, servile Leslie Hobbs; exquisite Susan Vandervoort, and stoic Jason Cooper. All are aware that one of them may become Winslow's heir, replacing Bunny. Then, rejecting Robert's advice to leave town, Winslow winds up bludgeoned to death in his tower bedroom. It takes some far deductive reaches and one very heavy coincidence to arrive at a solution that's strikingly out of sync. Grace is a lively, well-realized character--the best thing in this readable, but only mildly entertaining story.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's