Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Who Is Simon Warwick?
Who Is Simon Warwick? (1978) by Patricia Moyes.
Who is Simon Warwick? An excellent question. And one that keeps Ambrose Quince, executor of the late Lord Charlton's estate, Chief Superintendent Henry Tibbett, and most certainly the reader guessing until the novel's remarkable close.
Simon Warwick, it seems, stands to inherit a tidy sum of both property and influence should he be able to substantiate his identity as the boy who was adopted by an American Army officer and his English bride in October 1944. It's no surprise, however, that laying claim to the estate invites more than one motive -- and opportunity -- for murder.
This neatly turned out narrative travels from London to Charlottesville, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and then back to London again. All of these places are fully realized. The novel is both moody and tense, and if Miss Lemon may say it again, full of surprises.
Patricia Moyes, author of some twenty works of mystery, said in an interview that she always strives to write the novels she would most like to read. A simple sounding sentiment, perhaps, but one that even the most seasoned writers would do well to keep close at hand.