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Appointed to Die

Kate Charles: Appointed to Die (USA 1994)

From the Publisher:
The appointment of Londoner Stuart Latimer as the new dean of Malbury Cathedral sends shock waves through the cathedral close from the bishop's stately mansion down to the tasteful Georgian row houses. Everyone in this old cathedral town assumed the position would pass to Canon Brydges-ffrench, a genteel gent with a sweet tooth and a sentiment for tradition. Instead, this small community, which fancies itself a second Eden sealed off from the outside world, braces itself for trouble in paradise. In mere days, Dean Latimer reveals plans to turn the historic grounds into an office complex. And that's just the beginning. With his social-climbing wife urging him on, the Londoner attacks centuries-old traditions with religious fervor, looking to cut costs and make profits. The serenity of Malbury is shattered. But who can foresee that growing unease will escalate to the point where blood will be spilled? Lucy Kingsley, daughter of Malbury's canon John Kingsley, has a talent for the fine arts and the fine art of sleuthing. Now she is again joined by her lover, solicitor David Middleton-Brown, to probe the secrets of a place where nothing is as it seems. They soon discover that the church architect is building more than new houses, the widow who runs the Friends of the Cathedral is less conservative than she seems, and the mousy wife of the handsome precentor is hiding a secret or two under her drab brown clothing. Have any of them committed crimes they would kill to conceal? Or has someone else in Malbury Cathedral paved the path to hell with good intentions... and unholy homicide?

Kate Charles: Appointed to Die. A Book of Psalms Mystery. Mysterious Press, ISBN: 0892965487 (November, 1994), 356 p., $19.95.

 

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Appointed to Die

Kate Charles: Appointed to Die (UK 1993)

From the Publisher:
Death at the Deanery - sudden and unnatural death. Someone should have seen it coming. For even before Stuart Latimer arrives as the new Dean of Malbury Cathedral, shock waves reverberate through the tightly-knit and insular Cathedral Close, heralding sweeping changes in a community that is not open to change. And the reality is even worse than the expectation - the Dean's naked ambition and ruthless behaviour alienate everyone in the Chapter: the Canons, gentle John Kingsley, vague Rupert Greenwood, pompous Philip Thetford, and especially Subdean Arthur Brydges-ffrench, a traditionalist who resists change most strongly of all. Others in the Close have reason to fear the Dean as well: Jeremy Bartlett, the Cathedral Architect, who is playing a dangerous game of double-dealing; Evelyn Marsden, the spinster whose home is at stake; Rowena Hunt, head of the Friends of the Cathedral, whose own ambitions drive her into an unholy alliance with the Dean; and even Police Inspector Michael Drewitt, who spends more of his off-duty time in the Close than a married man should.

Financial jiggery-pokery, clandestine meetings, malicious gossip, and several people who see more than they ought to: a potent mix. But who could foresee that the mistrust and even hatred within the Cathedral Close would spill over into violence and death? Canon Kingsley's daughter Lucy draws in her lover David Middleton-Brown, against his better judgement, and together they probe the surprising secrets of a self-contained world where nothing is what it seems.

Kate Charles: Appointed to Die. A Clerical Mystery. Headline, ISBN: 0747241996 (November, 1993), 311 p., £4.99 (?).

 

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