"SHEEP, GOATS AND SOAP" by John Malcolm


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Eighth in the series featuring art-expert/sleuth Tim Simpson, one of a three-man team that invests in art for White's Bank of London. Here, Tim gets a letter from one-time college acquaintance Derek Sedgewick hinting at the availability of a rare Pre-Raphaelite painting. But when Tim and new wife Sue make a follow-up trip to meet Sedgewick in Hastings, they find that he has vanished, leaving behind his girlfriend Monica and her Japanese lover--victims of a bizarre murder. There's more at stake here than valuable paintings--drugs and money-laundering are part of the tedious cat-and-mouse game Tim (unwittingly at first) plays with Chief Inspector Nobby Roberts and Inspector Foster of the Hastings police. The sluggish pace quickens late in the day, but only Tim's self-deprecating charm saves this clumsily plotted effort from total disaster. Disappointing--especially after the author's polished last outing (The Wrong Impression, 1990).

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1992
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scribners