The Little Victim (Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Series #4) by R. T. Raichev, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Little Victim (Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Series #4)

The Little Victim (Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Series #4)

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by R. T. Raichev

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Antonia Darcy and Major Hugh Payne set aside their pleasure-filled holiday to investigate an alleged murder.


Antonia Darcy and Major Hugh Payne set aside their pleasure-filled holiday to investigate an alleged murder.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mystery novelist Antonia Darcy and her husband, Maj. Hugh Payne, travel to India in Raichev's witty fourth mystery to feature the amateur sleuths (after 2008's Assassins at Ospreys). The couple stay at Coconut Grove in Goa, the hacienda-style home of Roman Songhera, an Indian gangster. The scandalous behavior of Songhera's mistress, Marigold "Ria" Leighton, the daughter of Lord Justice Toby Leighton, has driven Songhera to the brink. At a lavish garden party at Coconut Grove, a drunken Englishman claiming to be in the employ of Lord Leighton tells Antonia that he saw Songhera kill Ria and fears for his life. With nods to Agatha Christie, John Buchan, P.D. James and other mystery greats, the amiable detectives sort out motives and suspects to arrive at the truth and a poetic justice more fitting than a mere jail sentence for the culprit. Clever chapter titles echoing classic detective fiction titles (e.g., Christie's The Mirror Cracked) add to the fun. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
Curiosity draws bubbly British mystery writer Antonia Darcy (Assassins at Ospreys, 2008, etc.) into the middle of another baffling case, this time in far-off India. Though married to a devoted second wife, Lord Justice Toby Leighton spends nearly every waking hour worrying about his estranged daughter Marigold, aka Ria, who's been at odds with her father ever since the death of her mother. The beautiful young woman lives far away in southern India, where she may be a prostitute. Her latest cruel letter home triggers a fatal heart attack in the judge. Off in Goa, Ria is the mistress of dashing Roman Songhera, an extremely dangerous individual she fears will discover her flirtation with a handsome young man who won't stop calling her. Songhera's wife Sarla uses chicken bones and an incantation to put a spell on her rival. As gossip at a genteel garden party thrown by Songhera swirls around hapless Camillo and his doomed affair with Ria, Antonia (visiting from London) is accosted by distressed, perhaps inebriated Julian Knight, who says he was hired by Justice Leighton to spy on Ria and maintains that he's just witnessed her murder at the hands of her lover. Knight gives Antonia his diary, goes to refresh his drink and never returns. Antonia and her wry husband, Maj. Hugh Payne, set off on a risky romp through Goa's tenderloin in pursuit of the truth. Raichev's page-turner captures the tart elegance of classic cozies but adds an appealing modern edge.

Product Details

Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Series, #4
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

R.T. Raichev is a researcher and writer who grew up in Bulgaria and wrote a university dissertation on English crime fiction. He is the author of five novels in the Antonia Darcy series and has lived in London since 1989.

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Little Victim (Antonia Darcy and Major Payne Series #4) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Mystery writer Antonia Darcy and her husband Major Hugh Payne travel to India where they stay at at Coconut Grove in Goa, home of Indian gangster Roman Songhera. However, the felon is upset with his mistress Ria, daughter of Lord Justice Toby Leighton; in fact she is driving him insane with her out of control scandalous behavior as she has done with her estranged concerned dad. At a lavish garden party hosted by Songhera, a drunken Englishman Julian Knight makes two startling claims to Antonia. First he swears he works for Leighton and second he insists he saw Songhera kill Ria. The man fears that Songhera will kill him next to make sure there are no witnesses to testify. Antonia informs Hugh, and the married couple investigate the apparent homicide of Ria; neither expected there were so many suspects wanting the English mistress dead. The latest Darcy-Payne amateur sleuth (see ASSASSINS AT OSPREYS) is an excellent whodunit filled with twists, red herrings, plenty of suspects, a local atmospheric flavor and clever spins while also paying homage to the classic mysteries (including brilliant chapter titles). The story line is fast-paced from the moment the lead couple arrives in Goa and never slows down. THE LITTLE VICTIM is a super one sitting whodunit as nothing is quite like it seems. Harriet Klausner