THE PROBLEM OF THE SPITEFUL SPIRITUALIST by Roberta Rogow

THE PROBLEM OF THE SPITEFUL SPIRITUALIST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A second outing for Dodgson and Doyle (The Problem of the Missing Miss, 1998). The Reverend Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), returning to Oxford after a trip along the Channel coast, has been invited to visit Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle and his bride Touie in the town of Southsea. Doyle’s cantankerous neighbor Captain Jethro Arkwright has just died—of a heart attack, thinks all but Doyle, who wants an autopsy done. Arkwright has left two daughters, Amelia and the much younger Bedelia, along with housekeeper Emma Cavanaugh (keeper of everyone’s secrets), who proposes a sÇance at General Drayson’s house and, before the night is over, also dies of a heart attack. Once again, Dr. Doyle is not convinced. He looks for and finds a much more exotic cause of death. Plus, there are other problems going back to Captain Arkwright’s days in India and Bermuda—one of them the disappearance of the Rajitpor treasure, long sought by Raja Hahal and his aide. The treasure eventually surfaces, as so do some bizarre discoveries from years back that help illuminate today’s strange happenings. Nicely done evocation of time and place, undermined by unconvincing characters, and a fussy string of unlikely plot developments. Sporadically entertaining.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20570-8
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1999




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