The Skeleton in the Grass

The Skeleton in the Grass

4.0 2
by Robert Barnard
     
 

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Sara Causseley could not be more delighted by her new job as governess to the aristocratic Hallam clan. The children are adorable, the gardens are a dream, and the conversation stimulating. But ominous political clouds are gathering over Europe, and as England slips inexorably toward World War II, the Hallams' political views make the family increasingly unpopular.

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Overview

Sara Causseley could not be more delighted by her new job as governess to the aristocratic Hallam clan. The children are adorable, the gardens are a dream, and the conversation stimulating. But ominous political clouds are gathering over Europe, and as England slips inexorably toward World War II, the Hallams' political views make the family increasingly unpopular. No one, though, suspects the extent of the malice that is percolating in the surrounding countryside until a human skeleton—and then a human corpse-are found on the Hallam grounds, sending some kind of ugly message.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Remarkably inventive British author Barnard recreates England in the mid-1930s in this spellbinding mystery. Sarah Causeley goes to the tranquil country estate where Dennis and Helen Hallam live with their grown childrenOliver, Will, Elizabethand six-year-old Chloe, whose care Sarah assumes. Very soon, the young governess falls in love with the warm, intellectual, generous family. She admires the parents' idealistic pacifism and support for the League of Nations. Rumors of ``The King's Matter'' (Mrs. Simpson) and the Nazi threat fail to disturb the atmosphere, but Will's leaving to fight for the Republic in Spain is a blow. And more troubles loom at home. Instigated by a vaunting patriot and secret fascist, Major Coffey, village lads play low tricks on ``cowardly'' Dennis, which culminate in tragedy: one of the boys, Chris Keene, is found fatally shot outside the Hallams' house. The community believes the family guilty of Chris's murder, and the consequences end an idyll for Sarah. The killer is never caught but is identified, years later, in a haunting episode that only Barnard could provide. Paperback rights to Dell. (May)
Library Journal
The serious tone and down-to-earth characters of Barnard's latest effort signal a departure from his more usual frivolous themes and eccentric performers. Shortly after Sarah Causeley goes to work for the genteel but outspokenly pacifist Hallams as governess, the Spanish Civil War erupts. The war focuses local antipathies, ugly pranks, and murder on the Hallam's Elizabethan home. The obvious villian everyone suspects of murder witnessed but did not commit it; only in the Seventies does Sarah confront the actual murderer. Superior work from a talented writer. REK

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933397818
Publisher:
Felony & Mayhem, LLC
Publication date:
09/25/2007
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
651,891
Product dimensions:
5.62(w) x 7.51(h) x 0.50(d)

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