Good Luck to the Corpse

No quote today, as I had to give the omnibus back to my mom so she could return it to the library.  I had to read furiously last night in order to finish it!

In Good Luck to the Corpse, Julian Ashford has brought his young son Tyler on all his travels since his days in Burma. But life on the road gets weary, so for his latest trip he enrolls Tyler in the Whitecliffe School for Languages in Nice. Penelope Whitecliffe has qualms that things at her school may not be all that they seem, but consents to have her uncle be guardian for Tyler. On the day Julian is supposed to leave, however, Mr. Whitecliffe walks into the casino, wins big, and promptly dies of poison. Julian and Penelope feel drawn towards protecting each other as threats surround them, but Julian can’t quite forget the wife who walked away from him years ago.

There is a lot going on in this book. Max Murray has created a complex plot and a cast characters who all have things they’d rather not share. I’ve learned from reading mysteries that you can never quite trust anyone when murder is involved; the most winsome ways may be the facade of a killer. Here, as opposed to the last book, the characters seem to almost be working against the police, resisting questions and hiding information that may be incriminating. Instead they form tenuous alliances based on instincts of who can be trusted, and are more intent on protecting their own innocence than unmasking a killer. Inspector Vernier does nothing to make himself likable, but personally I feel that the truth would have been more reasonable in the long run. All in all, this one kept the tension going right up to the surprising end and left me thinking about it even after I’d finished.

Coincidentally, “To Catch A Thief” was on TCM last night as well. This Hitchcock film has Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, and also a complex plot set on the Riviera. I’ve seen it before and turned it off so I could finish the book instead, but had to smile at the connection!

Published in: on August 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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