Death's Autograph (Antiquarian Book Mysteries)

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( 153 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780061097423: Death's Autograph (Antiquarian Book Mysteries)

Murder's Bold Inscription

"Whoever had broken into the shop might just have gone upstairs afterwards, might just be there still...My first reaction was anger: I wanted to roar up the stairs, only I could hear Barnabas saying, the way he used to when I was little: "Temper, Dido! Count to twenty-nine..."

Selling rare books has its moments, but few are anything close to thrilling--except when Dido Hoare's scoundrel of an ex-husband suddenly reappears and puts a pulse of excitement in the air.But events go from interesting to intense when someone ends up murdered and the culprit seems to think Dido has something worth killing for, too.

With the help of her father, Barnabas, a retired academic with a penchant for mysteries, Dido may be able to divert the killer long enough to figure out who wants her dead and why. Recovering from a heart attack, the irrepressible Barnabas is taking chances that are likely to give Dido a coronary of her own, and give the police a bad case of indigestion. But as Dido and Barnabas are about to learn, every crime has its victims and its payoffs--it's just a matter of being on the right side of the bookshelf before everything comes tumbling down.

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About the Author:

Marianne Macdonald was born in Northern Ontario, where she lived until the age of twenty, when she moved to England to study at Oxford. After a lengthy academic career, she returned to the writing and acting she loved as a child. She lives in Muswell Hill, England.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Dido Hoare is an antiquarian book dealer in London, following the footsteps of her ailing, semi-retiring father Barnabas. Her apartment is over her store, while Barnabas lives nearby. Driving home from Banbury one night, Dido is followed, threateningly, almost all the way. Soon after, she's approached by ex-husband Davey Winner, a promiscuous painter/wheeler-dealer who'd left her for vapid Ilona and who now, amid signs of temporary prosperity, wants back into Dido's life. It becomes apparent that something strange is afoot when Dido's shop is trashed--and then Davey is killed by a bomb placed in the new car he never could have afforded. Detective Inspector Paul Grant enters the picture, making security arrangements for Dido and her father and becoming a romantic distraction for Dido. The murder of visiting Professor Warren, buyer for a New England library and Barnabas's friend and best customer, brings into focus the motive for all the violence: possession of an ancient volume containing a poem written in Shakespeare's own hand and signed by him. Past this point the skillfully built tension begins to evaporate in a tangle of secret meetings, shady characters, talk of drug-dealing, the mafia, Russian ex-agents, and the pros and cons of the volume's authenticity. Newcomer Macdonald's lucid, irony-edged, unfussy narration makes antique-book lore interesting even to the uninitiated, and her charmingly off-beat heroine is a character most readers will want to hear from again. Next time, if we're lucky, she'll be engaged in shenanigans less confusing than these. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Macdonald, Marianne
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