A HOVERING OF VULTURES by Robert Barnard

A HOVERING OF VULTURES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Scotland Yard is keeping tabs on suave, wily antique-book dealer Gerald Suzman, involved in several lucrative literary scams over the years and now the creator of the Sneddon Fellowship, celebrating the novels of Susannah Sneddon. The Fellowship's center is the bleak farmhouse in West Yorkshire where, 50 years ago, Susannah and her brother, Joshua, who also wrote--unsuccessfully- -perished by murder and suicide. Now Suzman, capitalizing on and feeding the renewed interest in Sneddon's work, has invited fans to a weekend in the village of Micklewike, where some locals still remember the reclusive pair. The Yard sends low-key detective Charlie Peace (Fatal Attachment, etc.) as an undercover observer, and he meets some odd and interesting guests--crisply likable 70- ish Lettie Farraday, whose still living mother cleaned house for the slovenly Susannah; very distant relative Randolph Sneddon--who knows nothing but valiantly fields questions; the unattractive Potter-Hodges, who owns a collection of Susannah's letters to an old friend; beautiful blond Gillian Parkin, who's writing a thesis on Susannah; and a host of others. All goes swimmingly--with much talk of new editions and rehashing of old gossip--until Suzman is found bludgeoned to death in his nearby cottage.... A lot of dull alibi-searching will take place before the killer is tagged, but that's scarcely Barnard's focus in this leisurely, occasionally sluggish ramble through the byways of minor literary fame and fortune. He has fun with the poseurs and aspirers--and so will the reader.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-684-19625-5
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993




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