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Posted December 9, 2008
WWII village mystery
During World War II, a very young German bomber pilot parachutes to safety in the village of Sitting Marsh as his plane crashes. The villagers capture the pilot, but soon attack his parachute for the silk. The frightened aviator, believing the mob of wild women want to kill him, flees into nearby Hawthorne Woods. <P>The next day the murdered corpse of a land girl working at Macclesby Farm is found. Everyone including PC George Dalyrmple believes the German killed the girl. The only holdout is Lady Elizabeth Hartleigh who thinks the prime suspect is a shield for the real killer. Hoping to be useful to her villagers, Elizabeth begins to investigate the homicide. <P> DEATH IS IN THE AIR, the second Lady Compton WWII amateur sleuth tale (see A BICYCLE BUILT FOR MURDER), is a delightful novel. The story line is fun for its historical perspective as much as for its phenomenal amateur sleuth plot. Still, this novel belongs to its characters (Elizabeth, the villagers, and the deployed American troops) that bring the era to life. A bit of romance between Elizabeth and Major Earl Monroe adds an additional pearl to a fantastic story. <P>Harriet Klausner
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