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Janet MaslinThe main mystery presented by The Water's Lovely is how an author so relentlessly prolific, with dozens of novels to her credit and another set published under the pen name Barbara Vine, can do such buoyant, impeccable work. This stand-alone story, written apart from her Chief Inspector Wexford series, is one of her most gleefully energetic efforts. And its powers of description and characterization place it far beyond the limits of a genre novel. This book is less a conventional crime story than a sly social comedy in which not everybody dies of natural causes.
—The New York Times