Stifled by the prospect of toiling for a lifetime in his autocratic father's safe architectural practice, Merlin Richards packs his harp and sails off from Wales to America in search of his idol, the irascible Frank Lloyd Wright. Since the year is 1928, Wright is to be found in Phoenix, hovering around the Arizona Biltmore—a building on which he's working as a consultant to forgettable architect-of-record Albert Chase McArthur. Wright, who hates having less than total control of any project, is in no mood to welcome acolyte Merlin with open arms. But Merlin does get a warmer welcome from Rosa Lustig, a talented interior designer who gives him a lift, stands him to a meal, and takes him into her tent (but nothing more, whatever her hopeful beau Pete Bickley, a guard at the Biltmore site, may claim). Rosa is fresh and appealing, more interesting in every way than the suspects who survive when she's bashed to death with one of the ubiquitous decorative concrete blocks that seem to be Wright's most visible remaining contribution to the Biltmore. Once she's dead, stunned Merlin has nothing better to do than get arrested as the obvious suspect, get sprung just in time to be hoodwinked by a bogus newspaper columnist, and ask enough questions to pick out the nondescript killer. Miles, a.k.a. Edward Marston (The Lions of the North, 1995, etc.), presents towering, whimsical Wright and his newest creation (``not simply a fabulous architectural concept, it was an optical illusion'') in a suitably theatrical light. Only the mystery itself is pallid.

Pub Date: March 21, 1997

ISBN: 0-8027-3298-4

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1997

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One of her best. Poirot, again on vacation, falls foul of a murder on board a Nile river steamer, followed by two successive murders, obviously connected. A sophisticated group, an ingenious plot, clever deduction, swift-paced narrative. A little romance on the side lends glamour. First rate entertainment.

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 1938

ISBN: 0062073559

Page Count: 354

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: Sept. 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1938

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An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.


Too much free time leads a New Hampshire bookseller into yet another case of murder.

Now that Tricia Miles has Pixie Poe and Mr. Everett practically running her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, she finds herself at loose ends. Her wealthy sister, Angelica, who in the guise of Nigela Ricita has invested heavily in making Stoneham a bookish tourist attraction, is entering the amateur competition for the Great Booktown Bake-Off. So Tricia, who’s recently taken up baking as a hobby, decides to join her and spends a lot of time looking for the perfect cupcake recipe. A visit to another bookstore leaves Tricia witnessing a nasty argument between owner Joyce Widman and next-door neighbor Vera Olson over the trimming of tree branches that hang over Joyce’s yard—also overheard by new town police officer Cindy Pearson. After Tricia accepts Joyce’s offer of some produce from her garden, they find Vera skewered by a pitchfork, and when Police Chief Grant Baker arrives, Joyce is his obvious suspect. Ever since Tricia moved to Stoneham, the homicide rate has skyrocketed (Poisoned Pages, 2018, etc.), and her history with Baker is fraught. She’s also become suspicious about the activities at Pets-A-Plenty, the animal shelter where Vera was a dedicated volunteer. Tricia’s offered her expertise to the board, but president Toby Kingston has been less than welcoming. With nothing but baking on her calendar, Tricia has plenty of time to investigate both the murder and her vague suspicions about the shelter. Plenty of small-town friendships and rivalries emerge in her quest for the truth.

An anodyne visit with Tricia and her friends and enemies hung on a thin mystery.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0272-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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