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Carnage on the Committee
by Ruth Dudley Edwards

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 1590581334

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Carnage on the Committee
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Poisoned Pen, Nov 2004, $24.95, 226 pp.
ISBN: 1590581334

Lady Hermione Babcock was the chair of the newly created already highly regarded Knapper-Warburton Literary Prize, but when she dies, a fast replacement is needed as the committee meets next week to work the long-list. Baroness “Jack” Troutbeck is asked to replace the deceased. Jack accepts the position even though she learns that her predecessor was poisoned.

Jack works the members like a virtuoso, but someone else is also working the members as another death, this time by drowning occurs. While the police insist it is an accident or suicide, Jack knows better. As the chairperson, she feels she has two jobs on her plate. First and foremost finesse her committee into choosing her candidate without these morons knowing she pulled a Houdini on them. She also feels she is responsible to uncover the identity of the killer as other attempts on judges have occurred.

CARNAGE ON THE COMMITTEE is a way out amusing amateur sleuth tale that uses obviously exaggerated stereotypes (including a mouthy parrot) that takes the plot over the brink, but never loses sight of the who-done-it nor the committee work. Keeping the wild hilarious tale focused is done by delightful Jack, a teriffic protagonist whose manipulation of the committee and others in her circle (even the killer) is brilliant. Ruth Dudley Edwards provides a fine tale that reader swill enjoy due to a maestro performance by a star deserving more appearances.

Harriet Klausner


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