The death of a docent in a Back Bay Boston brownstone.
Newly named a trustee at Mingo House, improv comic and amateur historian Mark Winslow accompanies docent Genevieve Courson as she explains the museum’s history, including ghostly sightings, Civil War armament dealings and the tragic death of family triplets with compromised lungs. Later she asks to meet with him privately. But when he arrives, Genevieve, in a green period gown complete with bustle, has been posed in an heirloom rocker, strangled. Whodunit, and why? Mark’s lover Roberto wishes he wouldn’t get involved, but since he discovered the body, Mark can’t help being curious. Then an aged trustee falls into a coma, an antiques appraiser hired to evaluate the Mingo House contents is murdered and another trustee is learned to have formed a romantic liaison with yet another, despite marriage and his presumed sexual orientation. And there’s more. At the time of her death, Genevieve was pregnant, her college roommate didn’t bother to show up for her funeral and her best friend was known to several of the trustees for his role in a porno film. So Mark thinks he has lots to tell the police, who have their eye on Genevieve’s father, a registered sex offender, as their main suspect. Matters won’t come to a head till after the last crab cake has been eaten at the museum fundraiser and Mark, in self-preservation, whacks the guilty party with a fireplace poker conveniently at hand.A much-improved second effort from Anable (The Fisher Boy, 2008), who’s created a fascinating family tree for the Mingoes and a vibrant depiction of their Victorian home so in need of rehabbing.