ST. PETER'S FINGER by Gladys Mitchell


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First published in 1938, this reissue finds the late prolific author at the top of her form in along, leisurely, psychologically complex story--this one set in a remote, cliff-top convent school where 13-year-old Ursala Doyle has been found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in a guest-house bathroom. Her teacher-nuns are unconvinced by the coroner's verdict of suicide and have asked psychologist-sleuth Dame Beatrice Bradley to get at the truth behind the tragedy. Ursala was one of three cousins living at the school and the heiress to her American grandfather's fortune, which may now go to religion besotted Ulrich. Meanwhile, a visiting physical-ed, teacher with a shady past and a greedy stepmother both lurk in the background--fair game for Bradley's fine-tuned perceptions that eventually produce all the answers and a rather sardonic ending. Mitchell's style can best be summarized by her explanation to chauffeur-confidante George of the phrase ""So what?""--""Neolithic American query capable of being couched in bellicose, disgusted or pseudo-pathetic style."" All in all: pleasurable reading for fans of the unhurried, literate English traditional.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's