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Carnage on the Committee
Robert Amiss Mysteries

By Ruth Dudley Edwards

   Lady Hermoine Babcock, chairperson for the Knapper-Warburton literary prize, has died under suspicious circumstances. The timing couldn't be worse because the committee is entering the crunch period where the list of prize candidates must be pared to a few finalists. The varied array of judges, each with his own agenda, can't seem to agree on anything.

    Enter Baroness Ida "Jack" Troutbeck to replace the late Lady Babcock. The Baroness is a strange one indeed. The term non-conformist can't begin to describe Jack. Horace is Jacks gray parrot, and he's equally as arrogant. The Baroness is extremely politically incorrect, opinionated, confident, and determined. She enlists the aid of Robert Amiss, the only completely normal person on the committee to help her deal with the variety of prejudices and outlandish personality quirks of the others.

   When a second committee member turns up dead from an alleged accidental drowning, Robert Amiss isn't convinced that it wasn't murder. Baroness Jack barely acknowledges the loss and insists on recruiting a replacement and pushing on.

    The murder of two more judges prompts authorities to quarantine the surviving members of the panel under police guard.

    This mystery novel has a decidedly British flavor to it and displays an excellent example of the famous dry British humor. If you're looking for action and violence, you won't find much here. This book rides on extremely witty dialogue that will keep the reader smiling.

  If you're one who enjoys figuring out the answers a few chapters before the end, prepare yourself for a serious challenge because Edwards doesn't leave clues lying carelessly about.

    I highly recommend this book. It is entertainment at its finest. The characters are all outspoken, unique, and interesting with many opportunities for some big league personality clashes. The book doesn't disappoint.

The Book

Poisoned Pen Press
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The Reviewer

Dennis Collins
Reviewed 2005
© 2005