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A Load of Old Bones

by Suzette A Hill

      The Reverend Francis Oughterard is really not cut out to be a vicar, although what exactly he is cut out for has never been discovered. After being forced into a spot of "muscular Christianity" in Bermondsey, he is glad to be moved to a peaceful parish in leafy, prosperous Surrey. Even here all is not well, and perhaps a career change of sorts is indeed in the offing. Fortunately, he has two trusty companions to help him out when in trouble - a dog called Bouncer and a cat called Maurice...

If you enjoy crime novels featuring cats (and dogs), and like the sort of books where part of the story is told by at least one animal then this is for you. Both animals and the vicar take turns telling the story, so the reader has the benefit of three viewpoints. These viewpoints overlap rather a lot, resulting in a fair bit of repetition. Also, it is established fairly early on that the cat and dog donít think much of each other, something reiterated rather constantly. There is quite a lot to enjoy in here notwithstanding, drawing on all those classic whodunits about vicars in villages and their other intriguing denizens, but the triple viewpoints (with many asides) rather slows down the action.

The Book

Constable & Robinson
June 28, 2007
Historical Crime [1950s, Surrey, England]
More at US|| UK
(US edition is different)

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006