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A Cut Above the Rest
     

A Cut Above the Rest

3.5 2
by Marina Oliver
 

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Dodie Fanshaw, rich, much-married former starlet, is staying with her daughter Elena in the idyllic Thames-side village of Markenlea, when a mermaid, a girl who has capsized her boat appears in the garden. Going to a drinks party at the next house, Dodie and Elena discover her neighbour, wealthy Rick Wilbraham, dead, and his new girlfriend Anna standing over him,

Overview

Dodie Fanshaw, rich, much-married former starlet, is staying with her daughter Elena in the idyllic Thames-side village of Markenlea, when a mermaid, a girl who has capsized her boat appears in the garden. Going to a drinks party at the next house, Dodie and Elena discover her neighbour, wealthy Rick Wilbraham, dead, and his new girlfriend Anna standing over him, holding a garden stake she has pulled from his back.

Rick's fortune was made in property development, but he has also netted a huge advance for a first novel from Piers Walls-Farmer's Wallaby publishing house.

There are other suspects: Rick’s cousin Frank, who lives in and works for him, resents the use made of his story in the book; his former wife Elizabeth, fiery and unpredictable, is receiving large alimony but to remarry; his agent and former mistress Serena left the house just before he was found. Several villagers lost money in his schemes when the property market collapsed. How is the mermaid involved? And the typescript of the second book, overdue for delivery, is missing.

Dodie and Elena question everyone, then Anna goes missing, and Dodie discovers another typescript, of what is essentially Rick's novel, with many errors. It seems as though one of Rick's carpenters, Kevin O'Mara, who was Anna's boyfriend before he died in a building accident, wrote the book. Then the mermaid's body is found, she has drowned.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A well-known author's greatest achievement may be his corpse. Literary lion Rick Wilbraham had it all: a fabulous estate complete with swimming pool in quaint Markenlea; a relative acting as general factotum; an ex-wife; a live-in lover; and a village full of genteel folk he'd lightly fleeced in real-estate deals, any one of whom might have killed him with that nasty garden stake. But, wait, it seems he drowned before he was stabbed. Even before they pour themselves a restorative gin after coming upon his body, his neighbor Elena and her visiting mum Dodie begin making lists of who had motive and opportunity. Rick's gal pal Anna demurely maintains she's innocent. But is she, or has she taken Rick's new manuscript and hidden it away? His agent demands it. Ditto his editor. But Elena and Dodie discover there may not even have been a new manuscript. In fact, Rick may not even be the author of his first novel. Alibis will be checked, cups of tea poured, the local constabulary chatted up and another victim dispatched before Rick's demise is sorted out and Elena and Dodie have nothing more to fear than the advent of their balmy, crotchety family matriarch. Journeywoman Oliver (The Cobweb Cage, not reviewed) displays rudimentary writing skills, zero tolerance for characterization, and, alas, a slavish devotion to red herrings.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940011487743
Publisher:
Marina Oliver
Publication date:
08/29/2011
Series:
Dodie Fanshaw Mysteries , #2
Sold by:
Smashwords
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
268 KB

Meet the Author

Most writers can't help themselves! It's a compulsion. Getting published, though, is something really special, and having been so fortunate myself I now try to help aspiring writers by handing on tips it took me years to work out. I've published over 60 titles, including four in the How To Books' Successful Writing Series, and Writing Historical Fiction for Studymates. I have judged short story competitions, been a final judge for the Harry Bowling Prize and was an adviser to the 3rd edition of Twentieth Century Romance and Historical Writers 1994. If you want to find out more about your favourite authors, consult this book. I once wrote an article on writing romantic fiction for the BBC's web page, for Valentine's day. I have given talks and workshops for the Arts Council and at most of the major Writing Conferences, and helped establish the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual conference. I was Chairman of the RNA 1991-3, ran their New Writers' Scheme and edited their newsletter. I am now a Vice-President. As well as writing I have edited books for Transita, featuring women 'of a certain age', and for Choc Lit where gorgeous heros are the norm. I was asked to write A Century of Achievement, a 290 page history of my old school, Queen Mary's High School, Walsall, and commissioned to write a book on Castles and Corvedale to accompany a new circular walk in the area. Most of my Regencies written under the pseudonym Sally James are now published in ebook format as well as many others of my out of print novels which my husband is putting into ebook format. Our daughter Debbie is helping with designing the covers. For details of all my books and my many pseudonyms see my website.

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Cut Above the Rest 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok. 473 Nook pages. DW
pagemage More than 1 year ago
"A Cut Above the Rest" by Marina Oliver is a fine light read for the beach or backyard. I enjoyed it even though it isn't my favorite genre. Unlike some books I've read recently, this one obviously had been edited by someone familiar with the language and the rules thereof.. The usage, grammar, and punctuation were good which adds considerably to my enjoyment of any book. This light mystery features strong female characters. The plot isn't tense, but it held my interest. If you are looking for light entertainment, try this.