A Death in Two Parts


When wealthy Mrs. Feathers takes a liking to her granddaughter, Patience, she changes her will, leaving her fortune to the girl. Then Mrs. Ffeathers is found poisoned, and it seems that only one person has a financial motive. Fifty years later, the mystery remains unsolved.

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A Death in Two Parts

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When wealthy Mrs. Feathers takes a liking to her granddaughter, Patience, she changes her will, leaving her fortune to the girl. Then Mrs. Ffeathers is found poisoned, and it seems that only one person has a financial motive. Fifty years later, the mystery remains unsolved.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a note to the reader, Hodge (Bride of Dreams; Unsafe Hands; etc.) states that she began this book in 1950, but only recently finished it. The result is a disjointed two-part narrative that fails to cohere. With its scheming relatives and promised inheritances, part one amounts to an old-fashioned whodunit, whereas part two offers suspense with sentimental overtones. The 1950 Christmas holiday is a gloomy one for Patience Smith, as the Oxford student learns that she's used up her trust fund and is in debt. She travels to Featherstone Hall, where she's to be a paid companion to her manipulative, mean-spirited great aunt. Patience soon learns that the matriarch keeps her unhappy brood tightly tethered by the purse strings. Furthermore, the old woman taunts her children and grandchildren by capriciously changing her will to leave her fortune to Patience. When she dies of an overdose of sleeping pills, the family gangs up to frame Patience for murder. Part one ends abruptly on a cliffhanger, which is never fully explained. Part two picks up 48 years later, with Patience, still bitter and haunted by that Christmas, suddenly finding herself bedeviled by an accusing young waif and by her cousins--one of whom has made an attempt on her life. Characters who reappear in part two don't seem to have evolved logically from their earlier roles. What suspense there is falls flat; the mystery of the old woman's death is revisited in conversation, leading to a conjectural and unsatisfying resolution. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Known more for historicals and suspense, Hodge also undertakes mystery with a deft hand. The 50-year-old unsolved murder of a manipulative but wealthy old lady still tortures the woman made rich by her death. For all collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Hodge forsakes her more customary historical background (Whispering, 1995, etc.) for a story that begins not so long ago, in 1950, in the English countryside-where Patience Smith, on her 21st birthday, is told by lawyer Paul Protheroe that her inheritance income is at an end. Broke, Patience accepts an offer to act as companion to her grandmother, ancient Josephine Ffeathers of Featherstone Hall, whose colossal nastiness has driven away a long series of aides. She seems to take to Patience, however, and almost immediately changes her will to favor the newcomer-an act not endearing Patience to Ffeathers' daughter, Josephine Brigance, her sons, or their grown offspring. When the old lady dies suddenly of a prescription overdose, Patience is a prime suspect for murder. She gets no support from any of the extended family, but finds a savior in policeman Geoffrey Crankshaw, who produces a different scenario, frees Patience, and marries her. Fast forward to 1998. Patience, now widowed of her Prince Charming, is moving into a house in the village of Leyning. There she is visited by ill-intentioned teenager Veronica (who strikingly resembles Geoffrey) and by several of the once-hostile Ffeathers relatives from years back. Is Patience's life in danger? You bet it is.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781448213573
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/26/2013
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Aiken Hodge was born in Massachusetts to Pulitzer prize-winning poet, Conrad Aiken, and his first wife, writer Jessie McDonald. Hodge was 3 years old when her family moved to Great Britain, settling in Rye, East Sussex, where her younger sister, Joan, who would become a novelist and a children's writer, was born.

From 1935, Jane Hodge read English at Somerville College, Oxford University, and in 1938 she took a second degree in English at Radcliffe College. She was a civil servant, and also worked for Time Magazine, before returning to the UK in 1947. Her works of fiction include historical novels and contemporary detective novels. In 1972 she renounced her United States citizenship and became a British subject.

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