RogerBW's Blog

Something in the Water, Charlotte MacLeod 25 November 2019

1994 comic mystery; ninth of MacLeod's novels of Professor Peter Shandy. Shandy is visiting a grower of remarkable lupines [sic, apparently American usage] when a fellow guest at the inn where he's staying collapses dead over the chicken pot pie.

Then his "widow" turns up, throwing off a variety of inconsistent stories in all direction, and while the county rejoices that the fellow is dead it seems that his murderer may still have nefarious plans. It's all pretty straightforward really, since by now we know that in MacLeod books unpleasant people are always bad and good people are always pleasant.

Lucivee Flodge hurled herself into their midst with a spring in her step, a gleam in her eye, and a bottle of champagne under each arm. She was dressed all in black, but there are blacks and blacks; hers was the other kind. Black lace stretch tights, a black satin top ablaze with sequins, slashed down the front far beyond the bounds of probability, and a huge black bow studded with fake diamonds riding atop her titian hair made a clear statement that here was the merriest widow of them all.

There are also some significant inconsistencies, not really forgivable in a mystery, but the mystery is really just an excuse to put the funny people on stage and tell their stories.

It's mostly all right, but it's so slight it's barely there at all.

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Previous in series: An Owl Too Many | Series: Professor Peter Shandy | Next in series: Exit the Milkman

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