Friday, April 27, 2007

A Dangerous Funeral - Mary McMullen

First published 1977; cover shown is the 1981 Keyhole Crime (UK) paperback edition.

Assorted members of the prominent Converse family have descended on Phip Converse's beautiful New England home for a wake and a funeral: Phip's. A very wealthy man, his death from a heart attack is mourned by some - but privately celebrated by others who desperately need the money they're due to inherit.

When Phip's middle aged housekeeper drops two bombshells: that she and Phip were in love and about to be married, and that she is certain Phip was murdered, the family gathering loses its carefully cultivated veneer of sophistication. One of them may be a killer... but with their inheritances and reputations on the line, most of the family is perfectly happy to sweep the housekeeper's hysterical claims under the carpet.

It's left to Phip's grand-nephew Jack and his adopted cousin, Kate, to unravel the truth and unmask a killer who is one of their own; a killer who has no qualms about striking again.

This is one of McMullen's standard "malice domestic" mysteries. There were a few confusing moments, with far too many commas inserted in strange parts of sentences. But still an absorbing story with a very likable lead character.

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