CORPSE IN A GILDED CAGE by Robert Barnard
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CORPSE IN A GILDED CAGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Barnard's satiric gaze hones in this time on England's lower-class citizenry along with his more usual aristocratic targets--when forthright ironmonger Percy Spender, barely making ends meet in Clapham with lugubrious wife Elsie, somehow inherits palatial Chetton Hall and the title of Lord Ellesmere. How does Percy respond to his first weeks inside Chetton's miles of corridors, endless rooms, and cavernous kitchens? He decides to sell the whole works--to the horror of Ellesmere family solicitor Mr. Lillywaite. And Percy's kin, gathered for his 60th-birthday celebration, seem to have their own, conflicting ideas about what to do with Chetton Hall. So, when Percy is found murdered (of course) the day after the party, they all become suspects: brassy daughter-in-law Dixie, wife of eldest son Phil (who's finishing up a jail sentence); Dixie's escort Chokey, Phil's chummy old partner-in-crime; Percy's younger son Trevor, accomplished welfare-cheat and part-time porno film-actor; plus prim daughter Joan and her calculating husband Digby. Whodunit? That's the challenge for Superintendent Hickory. But there's equal pleasure in watching son Phil, now out of jail, as he arrives to take charge and put this sorry house in order. Barnard at his sardonic, smooth, pitch-perfect best: super entertainment from the reigning master of English mystery/comedy.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1984
ISBN: 1934609048
Publisher: Scribners