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Sensitive, saturninely handsome Inspector Ben Jurnet (Ritual Murders) now investigates the killing of slick, smart Chad Sheldon--who becomes a murder victim on his very first night in residence as administrator of stately Bullen Hall, a showplace built centuries ago by the brother of Anne Boleyn. Could the killing have something to do with the Hall's intriguing history? Over the years it has been kept up and embellished by the Appleyards, a Hungarian branch of the founding family: Lazlo Appleyard, a hero of Hungary's 1956 uprising, was accidentally killed a few years back--so the estate has recently been in the hands of his aristocratic sister Elena and son Steve, with help from the now-retiring director, Francis Coryton. Or could the mystery possibly be connected to the craftspeople whose workshops help attract visitors to the Hall? And what about retired burglar Percy Teller (a totally inept favorite of the local police), who--to Inspector Jurnet's surprise--is now working as a Bullen Hall guide? Well, the charming character of Percy--his past, his love of the great Hall library, his new-found thirst for learning--does indeed play a vital role in Jurnet's investigation. And poor Percy's seemingly accidental death, in fact, will ultimately lead Jurnet. . . to Bullen Hall's double-murderer. Another Haymon gem--with immensely rich background material (unsensationalized sex-secrets, a dozen indelible character-vignettes, vivid history) woven into, and around, a solid mystery-puzzle.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's