4th in the Lambert and Hook series (1991)

When the body of Edmund Craven is exhumed it is found
that he died from arsenic poisoning ; the arsenic was administered
over a period and only those with access to him in his last days
could have been responsible. This means there is a closed
circle of five suspects – his son and daughter, his oldest friend,
his housekeeper and her son – for Lambert to investigate.

The very notion of arsenic poisoning indicates that we are
in traditional Britmyst country somehow – suspicion even
falls on the boxes of chocolate which his friend brought him –
as one character remarks …

‘Poisoned chocolates! Surely that’s a bad joke from the
nineteen-thirties?’

(the main reference is of course to Berkeley’s The Poisoned Chocolates
Case, widely regarded as one of the greatest of GA books)

The risk with this sort of reference is that one does then tend to judge
the book by GA standards of plotting, and Gregson is not really in that
kind of class. But if you can ignore such comparisons this is solid and
enjoyable enough, although marred by Lambert being hit on the head towards the end, a piece of quite unnecessary melodrama.

(July 2007)

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