Published by Severn House
Jack Haldean returns for his eighth adventure in England between the Wars. As always the historic detail is lightly applied to give a real feeling of the period. Early on Jack and his friend, Bill Rackham arrive at the Church Art Exhibition of the title correctly dressed for London in formal morning wear of black coats and grey trousers. Later in the book Jack visits a drawing room which is decorated in fashionable green, black and brilliant lemon with a chromium fireplace - this gives a lovely snapshot of contemporary taste. The first wisps of mystery come with equally contemporary feel and culminate in a rather gothic incident for Betty Wingate an appealing young woman.
Jack investigates her frightening experience which others have descried as being a figment of her imagination and he is able to produce enough evidence to pique police interest. His friend Bill is a Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard which means that Jack can get the ear of the police fairly easily!Other events develop into a convoluted tale in which red herrings abound and the possible routes to an explanation of what is happening seem to be continually blocked. Mystery, violence and sudden death may seem out of place in the world of Church art but they certainly do occur here.
This is a clever mystery in which the reader follows Jack's investigations with great pleasure. The other people in the story are - to follow the artistic image - sometimes brushed in or sometimes fully painted and give us a rich cast of characters.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
The first book in this series is A Fete Worse than Death. Dolores has also written Frankie's Letter, set in the First World War.