BERTIE AND THE SEVEN BODIES by Peter Lovesey

BERTIE AND THE SEVEN BODIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another sendup of the ""memoir"" school (following Bertie and the Tinman), again featuring the irascible, vain, drolly dimwitted reprobate Bertie--son of Queen Victoria, husband of the clever Alix, and would-be lover of all the women present at the house party given by luscious young widow Lady Amelia at her 900-acre country estate. During dinner, comely actress Queenie Chimes keels over; on a pheasant hunt, His Grace, a minor duke, is shot; next, a poet is knived in a dumbwaiter; then a wag is drowned in a well; Lady Amelia falls from her balcony; the chaplain dies in his graveyard; and Bertie (with a big assist from Alix) deduces all of these deaths are an acting out of the ""Monday's child is fair of face,"" etc. nursery rhyme. But why--and whodunit? Wrong-stepping it every foot of the way, Bertie finally stumbles on a Ten Little Indians/ List of Adrian Messenger scenario that attempts to redress the year-ago accidental death of a gamekeeper. Arch, as well as way too long for its short-story plot, but the country-house detailing (bedroom romps, stodgy Victorian dinners, bridge, the shoot, disdain for servants) is keen, and it's clear the author was enjoying himself.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Mysterious Press--dist. by Ballantine