Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Chorister at the Abbey-

The Chorister at the Abbey
Lis Howell
Soho, Jun 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9781569475089

In Norbridge, England the serial killing Chorister frightens the members of the Abbey Chorus. Norbridge Abbey Chorus singer Tom Firth visits the Norbridge College Music Department after everyone has gone home for the day. He trips over the corpse of unpopular nosy storeowner Morris Little. His hysterical shouts bring Professor Alex Gibson to come over.

The local police arrest several drug addicts who confess to the murder. However, TV producer Suzy Spencer and her boyfriend Robert Clark (see THE FLOWER ARRANGER AT ALL SAINTS for their previous snooping) have problems with the quick arrests as the victim was holding a Psalter that was no longer with him; it seemingly disappeared and they feel is a key clue to the identity of the real culprit. They compare preliminary notes with Alex, who is still struggling with a nervous breakdown after divorcing Music Department deputy Chair Edwin Armstrong. The three amateur sleuths investigate even as several odd near deadly incidents occur as if someone is warning them off.

The cast especially the amateur sleuthing trio is fully developed so that the reader understands the lead threesome and what motivates them to turn into detectives. However, that is a double edge sword as their baggage at times overwhelms the prime whodunit. Still fans will relish their efforts to prove the police are wrong, which angers the cops, as Lis Howell’s latest Norbridge Chronicles Murder Mystery entertains her audience throughout.

Harriet Klausner