This mystery is told from the point of view of the 'Bird'; Tina Rossi, a famous coloratura soprano who arrives to sing at the Edinburgh Festival, only to find a murder victim in a cupboard, whilst at the same time her lover, top scientist Kenneth Homes, has gone missing. Saved from the long arm of the law by Johnson Johnson, a world renowned portrait painter and enigmatic solver of mysteries, Tina joins him on a yacht race to the Hebrides - there are connections anyway as Homes was conducting top secret research in the area. Here, though, there is yet more trouble and the mystery deepens as Johnson's yacht 'Dolly' nears the island of Rum, where it turns into a race for life rather than prize money. This is the first title in the Johnson Johnson series and in common with the remainder involves an intricate plot and solution which is far from immediately obvious.
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Dorothy, Lady Dunnett, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1923, the only daughter of an engineer, Alexander Halliday, and his wife Dorothy. Whilst gifted academically and musically, she was not encouraged to further her talents by attending university, and instead joined the civil service in Scotland as an assistant press officer. In 1946, she married Alastair Dunnett, who was at the time the chief press officer to the Secretary of State for Scotland. He went on to become editor of The Scotsman newspaper, whilst she later worked on a statistics handbook for the Board of Trade. After a brief spell in Glasgow, the couple settled in Edinburgh where their home became a centre for hospitality and entertaining, mostly in support of Scottish art and culture. Dunnett had also taken evening classes at the Edinburgh College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art, and from 1950 onwards she established a prominent career as a portrait painter, being exhibited at both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. She was also an accomplished sculptress. Her interest in writing developed during the 1950's. Her own tastes took her to historical novels and it was her husband who eventually suggested she write one of her own, after she had complained of running out of reading material. The result was The Game of Kings, an account of political and military turmoil in sixteenth-century Scotland. Whilst turned down for publication in the UK, it was eventually published in the USA where it became an instant best seller. Other titles, such as the Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolo series followed and which established her international reputation. She also successfully turned her hand to crime, with the Johnson Johnson series. He is an eccentric artist, famous for bifocals, and of course amateur detective. All of the titles in the series somehow also feature the yacht 'Dolly', despite ranging widely in location from Scotland, to Ibiza, Rome, Marrakesh, Canada, Yugoslavia, Madeira and The Bahamas. There is plenty of sailing lore for the enthusiast, but not so much it detracts from the stories genre; crime. Each of them is told by a woman whose profession explains her role in the mystery and we learn very little about Johnson himself, save for the fact he is somewhat dishevelled in appearance.Review:
Delicious: funny,ingenious, glamorous,clever.'
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Book Description Arrow UK, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099846500
Book Description Arrow UK, 1991. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99846500