Mad About the Boy?

Mad About the Boy?

5.0 1
by Dolores Gordon-Smith
     
 

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“Recaptures the vitality and insouciance of the Golden Age of writers.”—Robert Barnard

It’s the height of summer, 1923. At a ball in Sussex, former Royal Flying Corps pilot Jack Haldean investigates an apparent suicide, but everything is thrown into chaos when a group of Russian revolutionaries becomes involved in the affair. In a case

Overview

“Recaptures the vitality and insouciance of the Golden Age of writers.”—Robert Barnard

It’s the height of summer, 1923. At a ball in Sussex, former Royal Flying Corps pilot Jack Haldean investigates an apparent suicide, but everything is thrown into chaos when a group of Russian revolutionaries becomes involved in the affair. In a case involving deception, greed, jealousy, kidnapping, torture, and more murder, Jack will face an agonizing choice.

Dolores Gordon-Smith is the author of A Fete Worse than Death, the first in the Jack Haldean series. She graduated from the University of Surrey in 1981. She lives in Cheshire, United Kingdom.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set in 1923, Gordon-Smith's second Jack Haldean novel (after 2007's A Fête Worse than Death) vacillates between cozy country-house mystery and attempted comedy-of-murderous-manners, with mixed results. Jack, a former Royal Flying Corps officer who writes detective stories, finds himself knee deep in a real crime after the apparent suicide of a guest at a ball at Hesperus-the lavish estate of the uncle and aunt of Isabelle, the flighty inamorata of Jack's forgetful friend Arthur Stanton-turns into a homicide case. Before long, Jack, Isabelle and stodgy Superintendent Ashley are also looking into the stabbing death of Lord Lyvenden, a munitions manufacturing rotter, Arthur's disappearance and nocturnal invasions by Russian terrorists. Those who prefer watered-down Dorothy Sayers will be most rewarded. (July)

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Kirkus Reviews
Murder winnows the guests at a country-house party. World War I pilot-turned-mystery author Jack Haldean is attending his Aunt Alice and Uncle Philip's Silver Wedding ball at Hesperus, their country estate, when the murder of Jack's old friend Tim Preston disrupts the festivities. Down on his luck, Tim's been working as a secretary for Lord Lyvenden, an obnoxious munitions manufacturer who made a big enough bundle during the war to buy a peerage and a well-bred wife to go along with it. Tim's death looks like suicide, but Jack is suspicious, and when Lyvenden is discovered in a pool of blood he springs into sleuthing mode again (A Fete Worse Than Death, 2007). Jack's shell-shocked pal Arthur Stanton, who was found standing over the body, has decamped, but Jack wants to believe him innocent. Also staying at Hesperus is his beautiful cousin Isabelle, who despite her recent engagement to wealthy banker and sportsman Malcolm Smith-Fennimore is a little in love with Stanton and sure he's innocent; Smith-Fennimore himself, who takes a shot at the fleeing Stanton; Lyvenden's unconcerned widow Lady Harriet and her companion, Lyvenden's former mistress; Lady Alice's swaggering stepson; and sundry other guests and servants. Perhaps several mysterious and threatening Russians, some missing papers and tales of Czarist gold may hold a clue. A classic postwar country-house mystery with a Christie-like denouement.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569475119
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
07/01/2008
Series:
Jack Haldean Series
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Dolores Gordon-Smith is the author of two previous mysteries in the Jack Haldean series. She graduated from Surrey University in 1981.

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Mad About the Boy? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1923, mystery writer Jack Haldean attends the Silver Wedding Anniversary gala of his Aunt Alice and Uncle Philip at their country manor Hesperus. However the fete is dampened by the apparent suicide of Jack's friend Tim Preston. In financial trouble Tim served as secretary to detestable haughty Lord Lyvenden a nouveau riche who paid for his peerage and a proper wife from his humongous munitions manufacturing profits although business has slowed since the war ended.----------- Although everyone else assumes suicide, Jack has doubts that quickly become validated when Lyvenden is found dead with Jack's friend Arthur Stanton standing by the corpse. Jack investigates, but Stanton is gone. Meanwhile Jack¿s cousin Isabelle, engaged to wealthy banker Malcolm Smith-Fennimore, insists her beloved Stanton is innocent and Lyvenden's wife Lady Harriet relishes her new status of wealthy widow. Throw in some angry Russians seeking stolen Czarist gold and Jack knows Superintendent Ashley has a difficult murder investigation to conduct.----------------- Jack¿s back (see A FETE WORSE THAN DEATH) in this entertaining historical mystery. The story line is fun to follow as the manor murder mystery is a combination investigative tale and a deep somewhat comedic (the humor feels flat and out of place) look at the post WWI fall of the aristocracy still cling to their estates even if they cannot afford them. The hero is terrific as he makes inquiries as if he is writing a novel, but alienates everyone. Readers will enjoy this fine period piece reminiscent of Carola Dunn¿s Daisy Dalrymple mysteries.----------- Harriet Klausner