SPOTTED HEMLOCK by Gladys Mitchell


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One of the better works in the uneven oeuvre of the late author of The Rising of the Moon, etc., in a first US printing. The poisoned body of agricultural student Norah Palliser has been found, some time after her disappearance from Calladale College. Psychiatrist-sleuth Dame Beatrice Bradley, whose nephew teaches pig-farming at the school, is asked to help. She works her way through a thicket of complications--Norah's lecherous stepfather Tony Biancini, her impoverished art-student secret husband, her liaison with Piggy Basil, a womanizing instructor supposedly hospitalized with a broken leg; and the fact that the body, identified by Norah's mother, seems that of an older woman. Could it be Norah's ""bad"" sister Carrie? And what of the ghostly horse and rider seen one night on the college grounds? Dame Beatrice travels to Italy, Northern Ireland and numerous places in between, searching for answers which come slowly and with agonizing confusion. The dry wit and literate style that mark Mitchell's best work are here in full measure, but only devotees will put up with the tortuous unraveling of a wildly overcomplicated plot.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1985
Publisher: St. Martin's