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Because he is out of town when his overbearing wife dies suddenly in her sleep, Pip Carlton initially escapes any suspicion of foul play, but apprentice pharmacist Kimberley Perry suspects otherwise as she begins to investigate. Reprint.
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Equal parts probing character-study and taut psychological thriller, this stylish mystery from Edgar-nominee Fyfield ( A Question of Guilt ) examines the dark heart beating beneath the civilized British exterior of a desperate criminal who nearly manages the perfect murder. While recuperating from an operation in London, beleaguered Crown Prosectur Helen West is catching up on her files when a police inquiry on a closed case gives her pause. Although the cause of death of 46-year-old Margaret Carlton, a pharmacist's wife, was officially deemed natural causes, the local constable was in enough doubt to alert Helen's office. According to her husband, Mrs. Carlton had acquired "the habit of sniffing chloroform to induce sleep and/or well-being," and one night she overdid it. Or did she? The constable's inquiry bothers Helen and she begins her own investigation of the chemist husband, his nubile assistant, the assistant's ex-husband and a neighborhood junkie--all vividly realized individuals. Helen's policeman paramour and partner in detection, Geoffrey Bailey, seen in Not That Kind of Place , begs her to let matters rest this time, but she cannot. As the novel races to its climax, extraordinary revelations unveil human nature at its worst. Mystery Guild selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fyfield (A Question of Guilt, 1989; Shadows on the Mirror; as Frances Hegarty, The Playroom--both 1991) is slowly building a loyal readership--mainly of fans of Ruth Rendell's procedurals-- and, here, again presents Crown Prosecutor Helen West and Detective Inspector Geoffrey Bailey with a case that impinges on both of their territories: Helen's gut feeling tells her that pharmacist Pip Carlton's wife did not just peacefully die in her sleep; Geoff's fellow officer, the violent-when-drunk Duncan, is the estranged husband of Pip's assistant, Kimberly--who, unbeknownst to her, is the center of Pip's crazed sexual fantasies. When thwarted, Pip attempts his second and third murders, to the despair of Duncan, Helen, and Geoff, who must cope with his treachery while evading blockades set up because of an unexploded WW II bomb discovery. Somewhat more plot-driven than the usual Fyfield tale, with the diverse storylines predictably converging. But intriguing analysis of chloroform--how it works and doesn't work--and a welcome smoothing of the West/Bailey relationship, at least for now. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Chivers Audio Books, 1993. Audio Cassette. Condition: Good. Satisfaction 100% guaranteed. Seller Inventory # mon0000373724