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Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Quiet Death by Marcia Talley

Published by Severn House, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7278-8041-3

Hannah Ives returning home to Annapolis on the metro gets into conversation with a guy clutching a Garfinkel bag – Hannah muses that they went out of business twenty years ago.  The guy who introduces himself as Skip complains about the hot weather.  When the train crashes most of the passengers with Hannah in the front carriage are killed but Hannah survives with just a broken arm, and sits with Skip who is trapped and obviously injured until paramedics arrive.  In the time that they wait Skip confesses to killing someone, but Hannah is too concerned with keeping him conscious to take on board just what he is saying.

When she is discharged from hospital she finds in the sack from the hospital containing her clothes and other effects, the Garfinkel bag.  Her enquires at the hospital for someone called Skip meet with a blank.  In an effort to trace him Hannah opens his bag and finds a number of letters. The fascination of uncovering someone’s life from letters reminded me of Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert when the background to a mystery was solved from the contents of the accumulated documents held by the solicitors over a period of years.  To say that this is a fascinating mystery is an understatement, I was riveted. Couldn’t even put it down to make a sandwich.

I have long been a fan of Marcia Talley’s books and have read them all, and can say that this is the best. Mystery apart my favourite sentence in the book is ‘No scientific instrument yet invented is sensitive enough to measure how little I care about football’. – way to go girl!
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Lizzie Hayes

Marcia's first book Sing it to Her Bones, was published in 1999. Since then she has published eight further books in the series  featuring breast cancer surviver Hannah Ives. Titles are: Unbreathed Memories, Occasion of Revenge, In Deaths Shadow, This Enemy Town, Through the Darkness, Dead Men Dancing, Without A Grave,  All Things Undying.

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