DEATH AND THE OXFORD BOX by Veronica Stallwood


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 Inoffensive Rose Smith has a problem: her estranged husband Theo has kept half the collection of memento mori enamel boxes that her well-heeled aunt gave them as a wedding present--and that she now expects to see on her next visit. So the Fridesley Runners of Oxford, who jog with Rose, offer to break into Theo's place and take the boxes while a workout tape gives them all an alibi. But one of the Runners takes advantage of the alibi to kill dentist Yvonne Baight, who's been keeping plenty of people besides her lumpish daughter Sophie under her thumb by blackmailing them into supporting her stand against her former lover, developer Tom Grant--and it's up to reluctant historical novelist Kate Ivory to turn a gimlet eye on her fellow Runners. Despite a nice eye for the absurdity of suburban rituals, Stallwood (Deathspell, 1992) leans a little too hard on repeated doses of those old standbys--blackmail and adultery; her sketchy characters barely cast shadows.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-684-19596-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1993


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