EXCEPT THE DYING by Maureen Jennings


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 How ungrateful of Therese Laporte to leave her maid's post with Dr. Rhodes in Toronto to sneak out of the house and return to her family back in Chatham without any notice or explanation but a hastily scrawled paper. And how inconsiderate of her to turn up dead in a disreputable neighborhood, naked, drugged, and dead of asphyxia and exposure. Now Acting Detective William Murdoch, who suspects it'll be years before he's promoted, is examining the doctor's household under a microscope. How long will it be before he finds out that Cyril Rhodes's servants are bursting with accusations against each other and their master? Or that the chilly relations between Dr. Rhodes and his English wife Donalda are based on a long-standing (and highly material) grudge? Or that their son Owen has asked his all-but-fiancÇe, Harriet Shepcote, to tell a fib about what time he left her father Alderman Godfrey Shepcote's house the night of Therese's death? Or that the unsullied Rhodes family has closer ties to Alice Black and Ettie Weston, a pair of working girls who cherish some dangerous knowledge about that last night, than they'd like to acknowledge? Jennings handles every aspect of the fin-de-siäcle milieu- -the domestic rituals, the social divisions, the suspects' secrets, the bachelor investigator's loneliness--with such assurance that the villain's identity is a major disappointment. Surely this talented newcomer will conclude her next novel more compellingly.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-16829-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1997


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