THE BANDERSNATCH by Mollie Hardwick


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The further adventures of now ex-pastor Rodney Chelmarsh and his delicate, daring wife Doran (Parson's Pleasure). The two have been busily involved with new infant Christopher; his cool, thieving part-time nanny Carole; their big, old house; Doran's antique business, run largely by sturdy partner Howell Evans; and Rodney's search for a new career. All is serene until Doran, in a fit of new mother sentiment, buys at auction a 17th-century, wildly baroque, carved and painted hanging, its main feature being a cherub remarkably like baby Christopher. What follows is a series of catastrophes, starting with a break-in at the house, escalating with the murder of actress Hanna Moreton, climaxing with Christopher's kidnapping and a ransom rendezvous gone wrong. It all leads to one of the Channel Islands and a suave villain--whose clumsy ploys seem ham-handed, thickheaded, and totally out of character. Slowed a bit with the usual overgenerous sprinkling of literary quotes--this time it's Lewis Carroll. But the story's lively characters, antique lore, tension-laden plot, and feisty heroine add up to amiable, low-key entertainment.

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's