A Load of Old Bones

Written by Suzette A. Hill
Review by Marina Oliver

Maurice the cat’s mistress, the wealthy Elizabeth, conceives an unwelcome passion for Francis, the shy new Vicar. Bouncer the dog’s master, Bowler the bank manager, is angrily jealous at the attention she pays to the unwilling Francis. Then Elizabeth is killed, and Bouncer’s master decamps with the bank’s funds. Francis worries about the Bishop, since he appreciates the calm life in this quiet backwater after a stint trying to be a ‘muscular Christian’ in Bermondsey.

Homeless, Maurice and Bouncer both move into the vicarage where they can watch and, to some extent, control events. This is neither a whodunit nor a whydunit. Set in the 1950s, the historical background is lightly sketched in but this original novel is a delightful romp.

Narrated in turn by the cat, the dog and the Vicar with their individual, appropriate and revealing voices, their accounts follow the hilarious aftermath of the murder and the complications that ensue. I hope there is more to come.