DEATH AND VARIATIONS by Ivon Baker

DEATH AND VARIATIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sometime secret agent David Meynell and wife Anne (Peak Performance, 1976) are entrusted with the kidnap-prone daughter of a controversial US Senator, and what could be safer than coasting in a narrow-boat along England's inland waterways? While involuntarily moored, however (it's 1976, the summer of Britain's great drought), the trio stumbles onto the murder--later disguised as suicide--of the owner of Tongstone Priory, a victim equipped with a restless wife, a fanatic brother (leader of an underground rightwing clique), and other potential enemies. The Meynells think they've actually seen the murderer escaping, but they can't get involved because of their secret boat-guest. Soon, however, their suspect is found dead in the Priory cellar, and the Least Likely Person starts shooting everyone in sight. A trifle too many bodies and red herrings crop up, but Baker's work is always unfussily phrased and crisply dialogued--and those leafy canals (remember Marsh's Clutch of Constables?) provide some of the best instant atmosphere around.

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1977
Publisher: St. Martin's