Jemima Shore at the Sunny Grave

Jemima Shore at the Sunny Grave

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by Antonia Fraser

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A collection of Antonia Fraser's compelling stories exploring the dark hearts and lethal secrets of criminals.  This collection features the tale of the jealous wife who engineers revenge for the lovers who wronged her.


A collection of Antonia Fraser's compelling stories exploring the dark hearts and lethal secrets of criminals.  This collection features the tale of the jealous wife who engineers revenge for the lovers who wronged her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The whole is less than the sum of its parts in this disappointing collection of nine tales, four featuring series heroine Jemima Shore (a TV investigative reporter seen most recently in The Cavalier Case ) and five with various first-person narrators. The title story takes stylish Jemima to a Caribbean island to interview the last member of an old plantation family, a sweet and eccentric old lady who turns up dead. In ``Getting to Know You,'' Jemima has equally bad luck when she tries to interview a female ex-con and is met instead by an unstable man determined to become acquainted with her--intimately. In ``The Moon Was to Blame,'' two English couples on vacation in Greece are dismayed by scruffy beach bums and an unfortunate accident. Fraser tends to kill time in her longer stories; the dawdling pace serves to dispel rather than increase tension. Her repetition of plot elements also takes its toll: on its own, the last story, ``The Twist'' would be a first-rate tale; but it holds no suspense for readers of the previous stories, whose plots turn on the same narrative device. (Jan.)
Brad Hooper
Fraser has split her writing career in two. On one hand are her splendid books of history, the most recent being "The Wives of Henry VIII" , and on the other is her series of mystery novels featuring sleuth Jemima Shore. Fraser's latest is a collection of mystery short stories, about half with Jemima Shore. By definition, mystery short stories, differing from mystery novels, are spare of clue and detection, and Fraser handles the difference in form with necessary precision as well as characteristic elan. The title story is exemplary of the Shore stories. Jemima has gone to Bow Island in the Caribbean to prepare a program--for the British television network with whom she is employed--on the heiress of the island-nation's most famous historical figure. Shore--surprise, surprise!--finds herself involved in determining the murderer of this very woman she's come to the island to see. It's a compelling piece, and so are the non-Jemima stories, exemplified by "The Moon Was to Blame." In first-person narration, an Englishman tells of a vacation he and his wife and some friends took on a Greek island, and how events there took them out of their usual mode of behavior. This collection will have wide appeal to both mystery and short story lovers.
Kirkus Reviews
Nine tales, most of them featuring London's TV interviewer- investigator Jemima Shore (The Cavalier Case, 1991, etc., etc.) and most set on remote, sunny islands like Bow (in the title story), where Jemima has come to interview the last of the Caribbean Archer family—aged Miss Isabelle. Isabelle's Archer Plantation House is to become a museum after her death—an idea not popular with her live-in aide Tina. Then Isabelle is brutally killed in her mansion, not the victim of robbery as it appears but of a clever if frail, rather peremptorily unveiled plot. The Greek island of Bexi, where a pair of fortysomething couples are sharing a villa, is the backdrop for another killing, this one with heavy erotic overtones carefully skirted by the oh-so-genteel characters. The puzzle in "The Blude-Red Wine" is wrapped up, then turned on its head in the midst of learned academics at a Cambridge college dinner. "Out For the Countess" has plenty of the operatic melodrama beloved by its chief characters, Leila Hopper and her faithless husband. And the neatly sardonic "Dead Leaves" involves Mrs. Langhorn, a quiet grandmother, her layabout grandson Marcus, and her bizarre plans for a serene old age. Highly civilized, suavely written—and immensely readable.

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Random House Publishing Group
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Jemima Shore at the Sunny Grave and Other Stories 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago