NOR LIVE SO LONG by Sara Woods


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The author's latest takes her lawyer-sleuth Antony Maitland and complaisant wife Jenny out of London to the village of Burton Cecil, scene of his involvement in a murder some years before and home of their placid whodunit-writing hostess Emma Anstey. They arrive just after the murder of young Dilys Jones. Indignant villagers are sure eccentric recluse newcomer Philip Wainwright is the culprit; but the police investigation, headed by stubborn Inspector Wentworth, is focused on boyfriend Peter Dutton, whose young lawyer Stephen Anstrey turns to Antony for help. In the meantime, two more young women are killed in the next few days--local butcher's daughter Ethel and newlywed Mabel Hawthorne, who, with much older husband Samuel, had recently moved to the village. None of this gets Peter off the hook until Antony gets one of his brainstorms and persuades the Inspector to explore a new direction. Woods constructs a story like this with practiced ease--pads it out with endless glasses of sherry, banal small talk, mildly colorful villagers and gentry, throwing in a bit of a kicker at the end. She's coasting here, but fans will find it as comfortable as an old shoe.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's