A bizarre clause in an elderly woman’s will exposes a dirty secret—and a murder—in this “intricate, witty, and thoroughly delightful” mystery (Publishers Weekly).
It was an odd request, but when Octavia Garamond passed away, she left explicit instructions in her will: The police must be present at her funeral, and the coroner should be exceptionally thorough when examining her body.
Amelia Kennerly is perplexed to find herself the sole executor of her great-aunt’s will, as she barely knew her. Further questions arise when the local parson, Mr. Fournier, is anything but happy to conduct Octavia’s service. Then someone breaks into Octavia’s home and tears the house apart. It seems the old lady’s words may have been eerily prescient: “Hell is empty, and all the devils are here.”
From a winner of crime fiction’s prestigious Diamond Dagger, this twisting mystery featuring Detective Inspector C. D. Sloan of the Berebury CID is “a literate, surprising treat” (Publishers Weekly).
Intricate, witty and thoroughly delightful, Aird's latest case for Chief Inspector C. D. Sloan and Constable Crosby probes a death with roots in WW II biochemical research. Eccentric, elderly Octavia Garamond has left a will directing that the police be present at her funeral and that her doctor examine her body very closely after her death. These odd requests perplex those involved, notably the deceased's only known survivor, Amelia Kennerly, who is named her great-aunt's sole executor. Further questions are raised when Octavia's home at the Grange, Grand Primer, Calleshire, is thoroughly tossed right after her death; when the local parson expresses some reluctance to preside at the funeral; and when two chemical companies engaged in a takeover battle seem somehow connected to Garamond's demise, which is eventually attributed to a poison worthy of Agatha Christie. As Sloan tracks a money angle, Amelia traces a child born out of wedlock in 1940. In the end, these and related mysteries are handsomely resolved and Aunt Octavia turns out to have been mad only ``north-north-west'' and fully capable of knowing ``a hawk from a handsaw'' right unto her end. Peopled with a cast that aptly and frequently quotes Shakespeare, this tale is a literate, surprising treat.
Pretty good mystery.
I really tried...
I slogged thru 12 chapters but maybe the early books were better. I got this one cheap. I don't consider myself terribly discriminating. I like to read almost anything but this was a bit much.
This has the most whiney angst-ridden hormonally-challenged wannabe adult who is supposed to be a village vicar ever to be presented as a sleuth. Couldn't get past the personality thing. The larger part of what I read was how tight which guy's jeans were, how can she get and keep his attention, and 'did he like me?' The mystery/murder had just occurred when I gave up.