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Sour Grapes (Willow King Mysteries) Hardcover – June 15, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From a simple but intriguing academic premise, Cooper (Rotten Apples, etc.) constructs an engaging puzzle based on modern police science for her seventh Willow King mystery. English amateur sleuth and romance novelist Willow helps her wealthy friend Emma who, at work on her postgraduate criminology degree, is trying to find original material about lie-detectors and their usefulness in determining a suspect's guilt. What she seeks is a definitive miscarriage of justice. Willow, married to a police superintendent, uses her connections to find the odd case of Andrew Lutterworth. Convicted of killing a mother and baby in a car accident, Lutterworth at first denies and then confesses to the crime. But at the trial, he pleads innocent. When Emma first hooks him up to the polygraph, she is led to believe he is trying to hide something, although not necessarily his role in the crime. Digging into the case, Willow and Emma learn that Lutterworth's only child died unexpectedly of necrotising fasciitis, after which his wife apparently went mad. Further lie-detector tests on Lutterworth reveal his long-hidden secret and the reason for his contradictory behavior. In the meantime, Emma strengthens her friendship with Willow. With her deft characterizations and intriguing puzzle, Cooper provides a representative example of a fine British cozy.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Romance writer Willow King, now married and a mother, assists longtime friend Emma, a postgraduate student in criminology, with her thesis. Emma wants to prove whether or not a man convicted of hit-and-run manslaughter gave a false confession. Elegant style; deeply satisfying series (The Drowning Pool, LJ 2/1/97).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Willow King Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312186665
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312186661
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,377,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 28, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Postgraduate criminology major Emma Gnatche is writing a thesis on the use of lie detecting devices in solving crimes. In her research, Emma comes across the strange case of accountant Andrew Lutterworth, a man serving four years for a fatal hit and run in which he changes his plea three times, with the last one being that he is innocent. Emma is curious as to when did he lie?

Emma's friend, Willow King is married to a police superintendent. Using that connection, Willow and Emma manages to hook Andrew up to a lie detector where it become obvious that the man is hiding something, but does not necessarily mean he ran over the mother and baby. The pair begins to dig deeper into the case and follow-up with questioning Andrew again when he is hooked up to a lie detector. Will they ultimately unravel the convict's secret that he is hiding from them and is that associated with the hit and run deaths that convicted him?

SOUR GRAPES is a wonderful English ! cozy that represents the best that the sub-genre offers. The two amateur sleuths are delightfully English in their pursuit of the truth. Their growing friendship provides a rarely seen female buddy team that is pleasant to read about in a fabulous tale. The stupendous story line is built around the intricacies of deceit and the ever growing web of lies to hide it, makes the novel into a chilling mystery. With her Willow King who-done-its (see ROTTON APPLES and POISON FLOWERS, etc.), Natasha Cooper may be the reigning queen of the English cozy mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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