Sunday, February 11, 2007
Cassandra Chan brings Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons and his wealthy friend, Philip Bethancourt back in this sequel to The Young Widow. It's a mystery for those fans of traditional mysteries who enjoy Agatha Christie. Chan takes the reader to an English village, and introduces the characters of the town.
Bethancourt is actually pleased when a middle-aged widower is found dead in his cottage, and the death looks suspicious. He's hoping an investigation will force Gibbons out of the funk he's in, due to a failed romance. The case certainly does wonders for Bethancourt's spirits. He's a wealthy man-about-town who enjoys amateur sleuthing as a hobby.
As in any enjoyable traditional mystery, the dead man has secrets unearthed by the investigation. There are the typical characters, a vicar, a couple celebrities, a brother and sister who seem a little different, and the protective housekeeper.
In Gibbons and Bethancourt, Chan has created two interesting characters who methodically unravel a confusing case. It's a comfortable read.
Village Affairs by Cassandra Chan. St. Martin's Minotaur, ©2006, ISBN 9780312337506 (hardcover), 368p.