All men should have a hobby: it keeps them out from under their wives' feet. Dennis Brinkley's hobby, though, was killing machines. No wonder the village was uneasy...Mallory Lawson believes that inheriting his aunt's beautiful house in Forbes Abbot may have saved his sanity. It enables him to take early retirement from his appalling teaching job ...
All men should have a hobby: it keeps them out from under their wives' feet. Dennis Brinkley's hobby, though, was killing machines. No wonder the village was uneasy...Mallory Lawson believes that inheriting his aunt's beautiful house in Forbes Abbot may have saved his sanity. It enables him to take early retirement from his appalling teaching job in London, and his wife Kate to realise her dream of starting her own company. Life will be so much simpler in the country, won't it? But Forbes Abbot is not quite the close-knit community it seems, and little differences and squabbles can become violent - even murderous. Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby has encountered many intriguing cases, but the case of the ghost in the machine is one to test even the most experienced of detectives.
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Publishers Weekly, 2004-07-12 With its focus on a dozen or so richly diverting characters, British author Graham's well-plotted ninth novel featuring Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby (The Killings at Badger's Drift, etc.) has more in common with Dickens than with Conan Doyle. After old Carey Lawson's natural death, her nephew Mallory Lawson, whose idealism has trapped him in a teaching job he can't tolerate; his wife, Kate, who nurses a dream of publishing good books; and their willful, spoiled daughter Polly share in a legacy that will transform their lives. Carey's amiable, competent financial consultant and executor, Dennis Brinkley, collects huge and ancient weapons of war. The indecisive, diffident manner of the late woman's companion, Benny Frayle, hides a steely core of determination. Other striking characters include a medium who's a frustrated actress and her strange, abused daughter; a fortune hunter whose rich wife turns out to be no bargain; and a childless woman who finds an unusual answer for her longings. The first unnatural death occurs well into the book and doesn't become a murder investigation till halfway through. Those impatient with the initial lack of action will be well rewarded when the redoubtable Barnaby finally starts to sort things out. (Aug. 18) FYI: This series inspired the Midsommer Murders series starring Inspector Barnaby on A&E Television. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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