Friday, November 27, 2015

A Banquet Of Consequences by Elizabeth George

When the renowned feminist author, Clare Abbott, is found dead in her hotel room, the first thought was that it was a heart attack.  After further investigation it was determined that instead she had been poisoned with a deadly compound.  Who would want Clare dead?  Was it her editor, Rory, whose friendship with Clare had had its ups and downs.  Was it her assistant, Caroline Goldacre, who had wormed her way further and further into Clare's life until she was impossible to remove?  Was it even possible that Caroline was the real target, opening up further suspects such as her husband and the woman he was having an affair with or the woman who had lived with Caroline's son and who blamed Caroline for that son's death?

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers start the investigation.  Both have outside issues that complicate their work.  Lynley is attempting to find an easy working relationship with his new superior officer, and also to see if what he feels for the new woman in his life is serious.  The new officer has an intense dislike of Havers and her propensity to play fast and loose with the Scotland Yard procedural rules and this case is supposed to convince her not to transfer Barbara.  As always, there are lots of threads floating around to be tied up.

Elizabeth George fans will be glad to read this twentieth novel about this detective pair.  This novel is closer to the early ones on which George's reputation was created.  Lynley is working to put his personal tragedy behind him and Barbara is back to work, determined to get back in everyone's good graces.  The interplay between the two is one of the series appeals and this novel does not disappoint.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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