Author: Burley, W. J.
Details: From Kirkus Reviews The Cornish riverside village of Moresk is home to some quietly skewed characters, among them twin sisters Kathy and Jessica Dobell--Kathy is married to prosperous contractor Abe Geach; Jessica is running the worn-out farm left by their parents and eking out her bare living with cleaning chores at the town church. One early morning she's found there by Vicar Michael Jordan, clubbed to death, her body ritualistically posed at the foot of a religious statue. Detective Chief Superintendent Charles Wycliffe (Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist, etc.) gets the case, with teammates Doug Kersey and Lucy Lane. Setting up headquarters in an old schoolhouse, the three begin an exploration of Jessica's life, which included many sexual partners. One of them was Laurence Vintner, a failed teacher who, with his wife and teenaged son, helped work Jessica's farm in return for their keep. There's also disfigured scientist Brian Lavin, living on a houseboat with a slightly retarded young male companion. The list extends to Jessica's brother-in-law and others. Anonymous letters, an old, unsolved hit-and-run fatality, and a second murder muddy the waters, but Wycliffe's intuitive sleuthing will finally come through. Rather slow-paced, talky, but nicely atmospheric police procedural. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. Product Description When a young woman is found dead on the altar of a Cornish church Easter morning as the organ plays one eery chord, Wycliff investigates whether the murder had been the result of a satanic ritual From Publishers Weekly Burley's 18th Inspector Wycliffe mystery (after Wycliffe and the Dead Flautist ) astutely examines the damaged psyches of the victim and the suspects, while fully detailing the comings and goings of a good copper in a quiet Cornish village. Dead is Jessica Dobbell, a woman who cleaned the church in the town of Moresk and led a life of well-documented promiscuity, including among her conquests her twin sister's husband. Jessica's body is found in the church on Easter morning, posed near the altar with her clothes pulled apart; five keys on the organ are forced down with wedges of paper in a pattern of notes that must be a clue. There is a teenaged boy whom everyone assumes to be gay, a pastor whose sexual orientation is less obvious, a couple who had lived with the dead woman and have clearly fallen from grace and various other dark souls, virtually all of whom bore a grudge against Jessica and possess a modicum of musical theory. Wycliffe insinuates himself into this small town, carefully probing at raw emotional nerves until he finds the killer. Burley is an unspectacular stylist, yet every piece of this unassuming work fits precisely. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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