After the Exhibition

Written by Dolores Gordon-Smith
Review by Elizabeth Knowles

An exhibition of church art sounds sedate, but murder soon intrudes into this cozy, 1920s English mystery. Set in London and bucolic Whimbrell Heath, this clever, intricate puzzle should attract fans of Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes. Amateur sleuth Jack Haldean teams with Scotland Yard to discover whether ingénue Betty Wingate has really witnessed a murder, or whether, as some suggest, she is just looking for attention.

As the multi-layered plot becomes more complex, the characters complain to each other that nothing makes sense. Readers may feel the same way at times, as the action shoots back and forth from lively, jazz-age London to quiet, leafy, Whimbrell Heath. There are hints of blackmail, bigamy, and hidden treasure. There is love, sacred art, a touch of science, and skullduggery from the previous century. The death count rises. This complex plot will keep readers guessing, although it cannot really be summarized without giving away too much. Fans of traditional, complicated, cozy mysteries set in England between the wars will enjoy Gordon-Smith’s eighth Jack Haldean book.