REPORT FOR MURDER by Val McDermid

REPORT FOR MURDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When Lindsay Gordon, ""a cynical socialist lesbian feminist journalist,"" agrees to cover a fund-raiser at the posh Derbyshire House Girls' School, she hardly expects to have the scoop on a murder: old girl Lorna Smith-Couper, world-famous cellist, is garroted with a cello string on the eve of her benefit concert. Whodunit? Lindsay's chum, teacher Paddy Callaghan, is remanded on circumstantial evidence; Paddy's new love, alumna Cordelia Brown, was being sued by Lorna for libel; and several students and their fathers are also distinct possibilities (Lorna romantically sashayed through some girls' lives, then dropped them). And builder James Cartwright, eager to turn the school into an expensive development, was heard threatening Lorna if she helped the school out. Lindsay and Cordelia pry into the various motives, ignore the police, spout anti-male rhetoric at each other, and eventually nail the murderer, but not before a student's suicide and a throat-throttling episode for Lindsay. So clearly doctrinaire that the murderer can only be a man (in this case, he's readily spotted early on), and this (sort of) locked-room murder scene is too easy to figure out--despite the first-time author's attempts to complicate it with timetables, late-night reconnaissances, and tedious conflicting alibis.

Pub Date: Jan. 4th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's