VILLAINS BY NECESSITY by Sara Woods

VILLAINS BY NECESSITY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

After some recent perk-ups, Woods is back in drab neutral gear again--as barrister-sleuth Antony Maitland defends long-time thief Jim Arnold, who's now been caught red-handed, stealing the coin collection of apartment-house-owner Henry Franklin, Jim, however, pleads that he was driven to crime by the pressure of having to pay protection-money. Moreover, he claims that the protection racket is being run from Franklin's apartment-house--an accusation which is supported when tenant Joyce Prior (a racket accomplice) is poisoned to death. The mystery, then: who was Joyce's lover-partner-murderer? And Maitland solves it, in under-par courtroom proceedings, while the Maitland family members go through their banal conversational paces at home. Woods at her weakest: limp, talky stuff.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's