Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Simon Brett
Berkley Prime Crime, August 2003
341 pages
ISBN: 0425190439

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The board of directors for the estate of World War I martyr and poet, Esmond Chadleigh, have asked Carole Seddon to join them. Brackett's House, the ancestral home of the noted man of letters, desperately needs money to fund their museum and Carole's former career in the Home Office may have given the trustees hope that Carole would be helpful in raising funds to bring the author's work back into print.

Meeting only six times a year seems reasonable to Carole, but by the second meeting she is bored and wonders if she can withdraw from the responsibility. Easier said than done when a skeleton is found on the grounds of Brackett's and one of the gardeners is under suspicion, being an inmate of a local open prison. This same prison is where Carole's friend and bohemian neighbor volunteers,offering counseling and relaxation techniques. When a former trustee of Brackett's barges in to insist on a media cover-up of the found skeleton until funds are raised, Carole is forced to investigate further.

Added to the mix is the arrival of a determined American academic demanding to see the poet's papers for her biography of Esmond Chadleigh which may knock the poet off his pedestal. Some of the trustees ignore her and others want to silence her.

Carole and Jude are the 'odd couple' of sleuthing with Carole's organized methods, and Jude's laid-back intuitiveness usually solving the crime. But in this episode, they are working on parallel paths. Jude, in a rare glimpse into her personal life, nurses an old paramour who arrives on her doorstep, a life support system to a pack of cigarettes, dying of lung cancer. He knows Jude will not force him to follow the conventional treatments so he finalizes his academic studies and personal relationships while in her care.

When a more modern murder occurs, Carole is forced to delve into the past with the surprising help of the American biographer as well as the prison suspect who takes the open prison concept literally. Although this series is considered cozy due to the amateur sleuths, MURDER IN THE MUSEUM goes further with complex plotting and ongoing tensions that will keep the reader turning the pages to uncover truths long buried in poems, family honor and a crumbling stately mansion.

Reviewed by Tess Allegra, December 2003

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]