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Snares of Death
     

Snares of Death

by Kate Charles
 

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Everyone agrees that Bob Dexter, the prominent Evangelical clergyman, has a great deal of personal charisma. Those who know him realise that he also has an unshakable faith in his own righteousness, and a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. It is no surprise, therefore, that someone should want to kill him. In fact, when the Reverend Dexter moves to a

Overview

Everyone agrees that Bob Dexter, the prominent Evangelical clergyman, has a great deal of personal charisma. Those who know him realise that he also has an unshakable faith in his own righteousness, and a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. It is no surprise, therefore, that someone should want to kill him. In fact, when the Reverend Dexter moves to a small Norfolk parish, traditionally Anglo-Catholic, and begins remoulding it in his own image, his distraught parishioners are not the only ones with good reason to want to remove him. And there are secrets in his seemingly tranquil family life that Dexter does not even begin to suspect - until the fateful and eventful day of his death. Solicitor David Middleton-Brown and his artist-friend Lucy Kingsley step in to investigate. Their search for the truth culminates at the annual National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, where Anglo-Catholic pomp clashes with heated Evangelical protest, and feelings run perilously high. Too late, perhaps, David realises the danger: will he be in time to prevent a second murder?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
American-born Charles reaches new heights of Anglophilia in the second adventure (after A Drink of Deadly Wine ) to team up London artist Lucy Kingsley and Norfolk solicitor David Middleton-Brown. Bob Dexter is a loutish evangelical clergyman soon to be installed as pastor of St. Mary the Virgin, a High Church parish in Norfolk. Insisting on being called ``Bob'' and often referring to himself in the third person, Dexter is set on removing all traces of ``idolatry'' and Papistry from his new church, causing much consternation among the parishioners. When he's found bludgeoned to death in the church, fingerprints point to a young Anglican priest who hires David to defend him. Lucy and David must sort through various Anglo-Catholic and evangelical clergy and laity, animal-rights activists and the victim's browbeaten family to find the killer, all the while trying to determine the future of their own relationship. Two additional deaths and the seduction of a young woman also occur--in keeping with the book's tone of high gentility, offstage--before David and Lucy determine who did what to whom and why. Charles entertains with well-drawn characters, a serviceable plot--though no real surprises--and a deftly explored High Church milieu. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Rev. Robert Dexter, the victim in this instance, also appears to have many enemies. He purposely accepts a new post in South Barsham, Norfolk, knowing full well that his blatant Evangelical stance will grate on the village's traditionally Catholic parishioners. When someone kills him shortly after he ``renovates'' the church, David Middleton-Brown, a solicitor interested in church architecture, investigates with his artist girlfriend. (This team previously appeared in A Drink of Deadly Wine , Mysterious Pr., 1992.) Typical village settings, a singular sleuthing team, and well-written prose typify this captivating series title.
Ilene Cooper
A series with a Church of England setting has pluses and minuses. On the downside, unless you know something about the Church of England, it's easy to get lost in Anglican-speak. On the other hand, we're definitely in Agatha Christie land here, and readers of Charles' mysteries adore that. The second in the Book of Psalms series (so named because each chapter begins with a quote from the Psalms) again features sleuthing partners, and tentative lovers, solicitor David Middletown-Brown and artist Lucy Kingsley. They're on the case when a pompous Evangelical minister, Bob Dexter, gets hit on the head with an iron bar in church. So unpopular was the minister it's hard to know who gave him the fatal whack. Was it one of the villagers, livid because Dexter was trying to excise the Roman trappings from the church? A fellow evangelist, Noah Gates, to whom Dexter broke the news that Gates' son is gay? Animal rights advocates, who don't like Dexter's attitude toward animals? Or his wife and daughter, both of whom have recently crossed him? The plotting's almost perfect, and especially good are Charles' detectives. They're so engaging, you'd love to join them for tea.
Marilyn Stasio
Bless her for elevating our spirits with this unorthodox work. -- New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892964987
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
12/28/1993
Series:
Book of Psalms Series
Pages:
368

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