TIMOR MORTIS by Will Harriss


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A second case for Cliff Dunbar, ex-English prof, sometime sleuth. whose first outing was in Edgar-winning The Bay Psalm Book Murder (1983). Here, Santa Monica's police Lt. Puterbaugh welcomes Cliff's help in finding the murderer of Maria Atterbury, aged, ailing head of a legendary department-store clan, whose portrait was being painted by Cliff's sister Alison. The store is being run by Grant Atterbury, Maria's nephew and chief heir, but his brother Lionel and sister Consuelo are sure there's another will more generous to them. Meanwhile, Grant's gorgeous wife Gwyneth and Maria's slickly handsome, not too competent Dr. Rawlings also have irons in this fire. Eventually, Cliff gets it all sorted out, including the ingenious hiding place for a new will, with some help from his clever bride Mona. All in all: a nicely worked out puzzle, some glossily amusing characters, lots of rather smart-alecky dialogue and a sharp look at some California terrain and life-styles make for crisp, cheerful entertainment.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1986
Publisher: Walker