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Shallow Grave: A Bill Slider Mystery (Scribner) (Inspector Bill Slider Mysteries)
Shallow Grave: A Bill Slider Mystery (Scribner) (Inspector Bill Slider Mysteries)

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Manufacturer: Scribner Book Company
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Author(s): Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

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Product Description:
Binding: Hardcover
Brand: Scribner Book Company
EAN: 9780684837772
Edition: Scribner ed.
Feature: Great product!
ISBN: 0684837773
Item Dimensions: Array
Label: Scribner Book Company
Languages: Array
Manufacturer: Scribner Book Company
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 1999-08
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Studio: Scribner Book Company
Product Features:
Great product!
Editorial Review:
Critics on both sides of the Atlantic praise Cynthia Harrod-Eagles as one of the best of the new generation of crime writers. "Slider and his creator are real discoveries for detection fans demanding quality and heart as well as ingenious plots," says the London Daily Mail. "Perfect literary pitch," says the New York Times Book Review. Like her esteemed mystery-writing predecessors, Harrod-Eagles starts with an appealing detective team, but she adds a sharp-edged wit and an intriguingly contemporary take on human relationships. Bill Slider, Jim Atherton, and Joanna the violinist are here to stay.

The Old Rectory, West London, is the kind of house Detective Inspector Bill Slider covets with an "edifice complex." But on his "copper's pay," it's not likely he'll ever live in such a magnificent structure. Huge and imposing, with three sections built over a number of centuries, it now must add "crime scene" to its list of distinctions. A body is rather spoiling the view from the back terrace.

Only two people live in the big house: famed historian Cyril Dacre, suffering through the final stages of a terminal illness, and his mousy daughter, Frances Hammond, who had the unpleasant experience of discovering Jennifer Andrews's corpse. She was lying, fully clothed, in a trench dug by her husband, Eddie, a builder whom Frances had hired to repair the terrace. Did he dump his wife's body and hope to cover it with concrete?

Could the death have been an accident, with someone depositing the body in panic? Where was Jennifer in the hours before her demise? Why didn't her husband report her missing? If it was murder, where did the crime occur? And who is the killer? It looks to be a straightforward case, but Slider finds that nothing makes sense. As in his own marriage, there is far more going on than meets the eye.

With impressive police procedural detail, delightful wit, and the cast of characters readers have come to love, Shallow Grave proves once again that Cynthia Harrod-Eagles is a writer to savor and applaud.
If classical music always seems to be playing in the background of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles's intelligent and very funny books about Inspector Bill Slider, chalk it up to the fact that the London copper's live-in lady friend Joanna is a professional violinist, and many of their friends are musicians. That plus the barrage of literary puns and quips that Slider exchanges with his chief assistant, Atherton, gives the series a distinctly upscale aura.

This seventh installment begins in a setting of rare architectural beauty, an elegant old house on a private estate set amid the bustle of West London. The browbeaten daughter of a famous historian has started her day in a very unfortunate manner--by discovering a dead body in a trench about to be filled with cement. The body belongs to the wife of Eddie Andrews, the contractor scheduled to do the cementing. Naturally, Andrews becomes the chief suspect--especially when it turns out that he knew of his wife's ongoing infidelities. But this happens so early in the book that seasoned mystery readers will soon consider other suspects, including a flashy but shallow real estate agent and the crusty old historian.

Meanwhile, Slider deals with personal matters of equal weight: Atherton's shaky return to duty after having been seriously wounded, and the decision by Bill's own runaway wife to leave the man she ran off with. This could seriously affect his and girlfriend Joanna's plans for their own future. "He didn't go straight home," Harrod-Eagles writes after Slider visits his distraught wife. "He drove around a bit, not really aware of where he was going; just going, with that instinct to escape the emotional scene that throughout history had made men leave home, fleeing their mother's pain, their wife's, their children's, going to the Crusades, to war, to the Colonies, the Antarctic, the Moon, the pub...."

Other Slider books in paperback: Killing Time, Death to Go, and Grave Music. --Dick Adler

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