MURDER IN THE GARDEN by Jennie Melville


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The latest from Melville focuses on a trio of successful women living and working in London's Covent Garden neighborhood. Architect Cassie Ross, clothes designer Alice Leather, and art dealer Edwina Fortune have been close friends for years, and together have orchestrated the second wedding of Edwina's father--at which suave Luke Tory, a P.R. man employed by all three women, is poisoned, dying soon afterward. Edwina, pregnant with the child of lover Tim Croft--who has died only weeks before in a car crash--is the target of anonymous, vaguely threatening phone calls and feels a hostile presence constantly near. A temporary move to another district doesn't help, as her tormentor soon makes his presence known. Then the killing of Pickles Dover, owner of a health-food store in the Garden where the poison may have been purchased, is tied by the police to Luke Tory's death--but not until Edwina explores the mysterious background of her dead lover does the identity of the culprit begin to emerge. The author's oblique, mannered style; sharp evocation of a specific neighborhood; and interest in feminist themes are present once again (Windsor Red, etc.)--but the story's dramatic impact is frittered away in a plethora of hints and omens, leaving the reader sporadically intrigued but disappointed in the overall picture.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1989
ISBN: 031229185X
Publisher: St. Martin's