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SMOKE SCREEN by Marianne Macdonald


by Marianne Macdonald

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-24243-3
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

A friend warns Dido Hoare, antiquarian bookseller and sometime sleuth (Ghost Walk, 1998, etc.) that the woman he refers to as Her Majesty means trouble. Dido can see the point. There’s something, well, prohibitive about the large, sixtyish female who looks like “a battleship under sail.” Her name is Clare Templeton, and though she might indeed mean trouble, she also might mean major business for Dido. Tumbling from the shelves in her shambles of a house is an avalanche of books rare (and valuable) enough to set Dido’s entrepreneurial spirits soaring. That, however, is just part of the temptation. Soon she learns that Clare—a much trimmer craft in her time—was once the lover of the late Orrin Forbes, famous American poet, and that his personal papers have been left in Clare’s keeping. But who’s their rightful owner? Is it Clare, or her daughter, with whom she seems in a permanent state of internecine warfare? When Prof. Jay Roslin, the studly Forbes expert, offers to share his knowledge and his bed, Dido suddenly faces an even headier form of temptation. But then homicide claims Clare; a certain manuscript turns up in Dido’s possession; and she finds herself ruefully recalling her friend’s warning—while trying to stare down a gimlet-eyed Scotland Yard Detective Inspector. Dido’s third puzzle isn’t really all that much, but what there is she solves charmingly.