A HEALTHY WAY TO DIE by Michael Kenyon


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Kenyon's Inspector Henry Peckover--the poet of Scotland Yard-has figured in some ambitious, idiosyncratic blends of mystery, espionage, and black humor (The Elgar Variation, The Molehill File, etc.). But this time he's the sleuth in the slightest, lightest sort of British murder-comedy--which gets underway when Philip Kettle, a client at SimpSon's Super. Spa, drops dead during an aerobics class, the apparent victim of sneaky poisoning. Was Kettle indeed murdered? Was it because, incognito, he was investigating rumors of Mob-related money laundering at the Spa? (His employer: the American grande dame who owns the posh international SuperSpa chain--and who has just arrived in England to visit the shadily managed U.K. branch.) Those are the puzzles for the two very separate cops on the case: wry local constable Jason Twitty, a flamboyantly attired Harrow graduate of Jamaican descent; and intellectual cockney Peckover, who is operating undercover with such panache that he spends the first half of the novel as Twitty's top suspect. But eventually these two offbeat policemen team up (Jason enjoys Henry's weird poetry)--cheerfully trading insults while discovering another body (asphyxiation via herbal mud), playing hot-potato with a stash of dirty cash, and eventually solving the crime (more or less). Utter nonsense as a mystery plot, and too cartoony to score fully as social satire--but readers with a taste for Kenyon's sardonic, whimsical humor may find this a mild, minor treat.

Pub Date: May 2nd, 1986
Publisher: Doubleday