MURDER IN A CATHEDRAL by Ruth Dudley Edwards


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 In a seventh outing, ex-civil servant Robert Amiss (Ten Lords A Leapin', 1996, etc.) is unable, as usual, to resist the pressure of his abrasive but good-hearted, longtime friend Ida (Jack) Troutbeck, now baroness. This time, she wants him to take a job as assistant to David Elworthy, just appointed Bishop of the Church of England's Westonbury Cathedral. David, recently widowed, is unable to cope with the five eccentric, mostly gay canons who run things, let alone the newly chosen Dean--Norman Cooper, a fundamentalist married for just a year to Bible-spouting Tilly. Robert makes friendly overtures to the canons--organist Jeremy Flubert, who cares for nothing but his music; the sweet and clever Cecil Davage; campy and aristocracy-obsessed Dominic Fedden-Jones; pallid Sebastian Trustrum; and unhappy Alice Wolpurtstone. The arrival of the Dean and Tilly, after a trip to America's Bible Belt, and the possibility that Cooper might bring to Westonbury the Reverend Beverly Johns, known as the ``Rev Bev,'' to conduct his foot- stamping, hand-clapping sermons in the sacred precincts of the Cathedral (a move that must be approved by a canon majority) set off a wave of vandalism, thievery, suicide, and murder. Robert's Scotland Yard buddy Ellis Pooley lends a hand to diffident, soon- to-retire, prizewinning flower-grower Superintendent Godson, but it's Robert who deciphers the crucial key to the whole messy business. Sporadically amusing if the reader overlooks the hyped-up, near-hysterical plotting and concentrates on the literate, arch, but often funny verbal exchanges.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15597-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997


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