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After the Exhibition: A Jack Haldean 1920s Mystery (Jack Haldean Mysteries)by Dolores Gordon-smith
Synopses & Reviews
A church art exhibition turns deadly . . .
'Art, my dear boy,' said Mr Askern, 'especially sacred art, needs tradition. Tradition is the bedrock of our art . . .'
He broke off, staring at the woman in front of him. Her face seemed to lose all definition and her skin turned an unnatural shade of putty-coloured grey. 'Art,' she said, her voice scarcely more than a whisper. 'Art! Oh my God, art!'
She swayed dangerously. Jack leapt forward, catching her as she fell.
Jack Haldean expected Lythewell and Askerns' exhibition of church art in Lyon House, London, to be a sedate affair. After all, Lythewell and Askern, Church Artists, were a respectable, old-fashioned firm, the last people to be associated with mystery, violence and sudden death. Or so it seemed - until after the exhibition . . .
"In Gordon-Smith's excellent eighth mystery set in 1920s England (after 2013's Blood from a Stone), Betty Wingate, the impoverished daughter of a solicitor, tells amateur detective Jack Haldean of a horrific encounter. One night, while walking home in Whimbrell Heath, a village about an hour south of London by train, Betty stopped by the cottage of Carlotta Bianchi, a woman of dubious reputation. As soon as Betty spotted Carlotta's strangled corpse on the sofa, someone chloroformed her from behind; when she came to, the body was gone. Everyone, including Betty's love interest, has dismissed her story as a fantasy. She hopes that Jack can vindicate her, with the aid of his Scotland Yard friend, Chief Insp. Bill Rackham. The charming and astute Jack, who finds himself drawn to Betty, soon discovers some trace evidence corroborating her story. The crafty plot ends up including multiple murders. Fans of lighthearted puckish sleuths like Peter Wimsey and Albert Campion will enjoy this outing. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Jack Haldean expected Lythewell and Askerns' exhibition of church art in Lyon House, London, to be a sedate affair, the last firm to be associated with mystery, violence and sudden death. Or so it seemed - until after the exhibition . . .
About the Author
Dolores Gordon-Smith lives in Greater Manchester and is married, with five teenage children and assorted dogs and cats.
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