From Publishers Weekly
Chan's second contemporary homage to Dorothy Sayers (after 2005's The Young Widow
) lacks the subtle characterization and meticulous plotting of the Lord Peter Wimsey saga, though cozy fans should enjoy the charming Cotswolds setting, in particular the congenial local pub where much of the action takes place. Scotland Yard detective Jack Gibbons and his well-to-do friend, Phillip Bethancourt, go to Chipping Chedding to investigate the death of one of the village's most popular residents, Charlie Bingham. While a possibly accidental mix of sleeping pills and whiskey did Charlie in, his body having been moved to the fireside where it was found raises suspicions. A surfeit of sleuths, including one of Jack's police superiors and Phillip's bumbling host, muddles the evidence gathering. Amid the red herrings, the author provides enough fair-play clues for the discerning reader to discover the culprit. (Nov.)
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The independently wealthy Phillip Bethancourt is hoping an interesting murder will take brokenhearted Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbon's mind off the end of his unhappy love affair. Bethancourt gets his wish when Charles Bingham is found dead in his Cotswolds cottage. Phillip and his girlfriend, Marla, a model, have gone to the area for a photo shoot, and Gibbons soon joins them. Bethancourt, a Peter Wimsey-like character, investigates, along with Scotland Yard, in this leisurely paced mystery. It turns out Bingham was a very wealthy man with a secret girlfriend no one can identify. Did she kill him? Or was it his estranged daughter? Or his business partner? Bethancourt is a charming character with a great interest in and talent for solving crimes as a hobby. A well-developed plot, intriguing and likable characters, solid investigative techniques, and an excellent sense of place distinguish this second in a series. Sue O'BrienCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved