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Ghost Walk: An Antiquarian Book Mystery (Antiquarian Book Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
London antiquarian bookseller and devoted single mom Dido Hoare returns for her second go-round as a hard-nosed amateur sleuth (after Death's Autograph, 1997). Juggling the demands of her business, her six-month-old baby, Ben, and her elderly father, Barnabas, Dido needs no further complications in her life. But when occasional customer Tom Ashe falls ill right on her doorstep, Dido helps out. Ashe checks himself out of the hospital and disappears briefly, surfacing long enough to give Dido an old necklace to thank her for her assistance; then he is mysteriously murdered. Dido, finding that she has been named executor of Ashe's will, is drawn into the investigation of his death. Like Barnabas, Ashe had been involved in code-breaking activities during WWII, but unlike Dido's father, the murdered man continued to work for the government on special missions after the war. Special Branch is investigating Ashe's death, which Dido takes to mean that his services to the government have something to do with his murder. Helped by both Barnabas and her irrepressible assistant, Ernie, Dido solves the murder and, along the way, brings to light an ancient, priceless manuscript of gnostic gospels of great interest to the Egyptian government. Smart and tenacious, the narrating Dido is an entertaining guide to the world of antiquities?and to her own very modern adventures.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A second adventure for Londons Dido Hoare, divorced mother of three-year-old Ben; daughter of testy, ailing Barnabas; and owner of an antiquarian bookstore, with living quarters above (Deaths Autograph, 1997). All seems peaceful, with the book bus iness edging into prosperity, when elderly Tom Ashe, an occasional customer, collapses on Didos doorstep. She gets him to hospital, which he quickly leaves against doctors orders. Soon after, he calls at the bookstore on a day when Barnabas is helping out . Ashe remembers Barnabas from the war 50 years ago, when they both served in Signal Intelligence. He has brought Dido an odd-looking object from the Middle East to thank her, but the next morning hes found dead, with a card in his pocket asking that Dido be informed in case of trouble. The autopsy reveals murder, and Scotland Yard is taking an interest. Dido follows suit, especially after finding she has been named executor for Ashes surprisingly large estate. Her search of his pathetic living space is f ruitless, but a visit to his widow brings up the names of Ashes army buddies Samuel Butler and Peter Mellor. All had returned to Intelligence work after the war, but it begins to look as though time spent in Egypt is at the core of Ashes killing and a sec ond murder in its wakewith a different kind of treasure at stake. Carefully plotted, with plenty of tense moments; a warmly likable heroine; a fresh, unfancy narrative style, and, for lovers of antiquities, some extra cachet. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It all begins when Dido goes to the aid of a sometime customer, Tommy Ashe, whom she suspects might be just one step away from homelessness and whom she finds sprawled in front of her store. In spite of his protests to the contrary, Dido takes him to hospital, where it turns out he's suffering from a bout of malaria. He caught it while he was in the Middle East in the late 1940s, and he gets recurring attacks every now and then. By way of thanking Dido, Ashe gives Dido a necklace, and then vanishes, but not before Barnabas, Dido's father recognises Ashe as someone he worked with in Intelligence during WWII. The next day, Ashe is found dead. The police at first dismiss the death as natural, caused no doubt from drinking too much alcohol. Dido however knows that Ashe had foresworn alcohol because he was a recovering alcoholic. She asks her policeman friend, Paul Grant, to take another look at the Ashe's death, and this time evidence is found that suggests murder. But who would want to kill a harmless old man who liked reading Thucydides?
And then Dido discovers that Ashe named her as executor of his estate, and a strange man claiming to be Ashe's son drops by asking if his father had left any old mementoes from his travels abroad. Except he turns out not to be Ashe's son afterall. Obviously someone believes that Ashe possessed something of great value, and that it might now be in Dido's possession. Will they now come after Dido and Barnabas? And what exactly did Ashe possess that someone was willing to kill for?
This Dido Hoare installment like all the rest not only possesses a very interesting and intriguing plot, it also has a very winning prose style that makes you wish that Dido and Barnabas were actual friends instead of fictional ones. In case it's misses anyone's attention, I thoroughly recommend the entire series.
Single mother coping with all the problems takes a customer to the hospital. He returns to give her a necklace with a history; he is later found dead. Tom Ashes's death has Scotland Yard interested and Tom was known by her father. Dido is named to administer his will -- does she have something valuable enough to kill for. Dido and Barnabas must work hard to unravel the puzzle before they end up as victims. A light love interest helps Dido as she gets close to ghosts of the past.
Clever, good clues, steady pace makes a good read and we love a good bookstore.
Nash Black, author of "Sins of the Fathers" and "Travelers."
Tom Ashe had been a fairly frequent visitor to the store, occasionally making small purchases, as though to justify his presence there. But his sudden death proves disturbing, in more ways than one, for Dido is named executor of his estate. Estate? Well, yes, there is one. And an endearing, elderly widow, plus a pseudo son. All inquiries into Tom's life end up being balked by a secret service edict. Just who was Tom Ashe, anyway? And how did he acquire a considerable estate?
Dido is an intelligent, curious woman with an obvious love for books, and that's just how she acts. She's not superwoman by any means, but that curiosity does get her into trouble. All the clues are nicely laid out, just waiting to be picked up. This is a very civil type of book, one which could almost just as easily have been written fifty years ago, with its ambiance of small-town London. I loved it.
Ashe piques this curiosity when he disappears from the hospital Dido has taken him to after finding him unconscious on her doorstep. Reappearing to give Dido an old, possibly valuable necklace Ashe is then found dead, having appointed Dido executor of his (surprisingly substantial) estate.
Dido doubts the official verdict of natural causes and her suspicions are soon buttressed by the stonewalling involvement of intelligence services - and the wartime memories of her father who once knew the man.
Dido is a resourceful heroine who encounters more danger than she bargained for but remains undaunted. Macdonald writes with warmth, humor and energy.