5 November 2009

Forgotten Book: DEATH FOR A DANCER, Doris Shannon

This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books.

E X Giroux was a pseudonym used by Doris Giroux Shannon. DEATH FOR A DANCER was the second in her Robert Forsythe series. According to my records I read it in 1990.
The list from Fantastic Fiction:
A Death for Adonis (1984)
A Death for a Dancer (1985)
A Death for a Darling (1985)
A Death for a Doctor (1986)
A Death for a Dilettante (1987)
A Death for a Dietician (1988)
A Death for a Dreamer (1989)
A Death for a Double (1990)
A Death for a Dancing Doll (1991)
A Death for a Dodo (1993)

I love the cover don't you?

Here is a lovely review from Amazon:
This is a delightfully fascinating blend of a screwball comedy, an old fashioned detective story trying to be medium-boiled, and an English country house mystery. It is one of a series, featuring Robert Forsythe, a handsome, youngish barrister and his extremely competent woman-of-a-certain-age-Friday, Miss Abigail Sanderson.

Sir Amyas Dancer and his children Carleton and Cassandra live at the hereditary country house, The Priory. Also present are his sisters, Bella and Sybil who live in the Dower House, and his former father-in-law, Horace, who more or less lives in a tree. In the nearby village lives David Proctor, poet and former model, who is currently engaged to Cassandra, but was formerly the beau of her mother, Viola. Nearing the first anniversary of Viola's death by drowning, Amyas has plans to tear down Mandalay, the Chinese temple on the estate, in order to build a pseudo-Roman ampitheatre, like the one to be found at Chester.

To the horror of Sir Amyas, the first occurrence is the discovery of a body. The murdered woman is Katie Parr, who lived and worked (?) at the Prior for a short time. Or was she Katherine St. Croix, Kay Parnell, or Katerina Padrinski? The threat of blackmail encompasses all the inhabitants of the Priory, even the housekeeper Mrs. Larkin, and her handy-man brother George, neither of whom actually did much around the Priory.

Into this quagmire step Forsythe and Sandy, who must peel away the layers of murk that surround the events of the past year before finding a most satisfactory solution. I found this to be a very easy-going, enjoyable story.

So who remembers this author or this series? According to Amazon you can now buy the book for just one cent!


Anonymous said...

Kerrie - I'd heard of the Forsythe series, but not this book. Now I'm intrigued....Thanks!

ps That is a great cover!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I've read one or two of these.

Dorte H said...

I have not read any of them, but this one sounds rather good, and the cover is very difficult to resitst.


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