Sunday, June 02, 2013

Amanda Cross. The Theban Mysteries (1971)

     Amanda Cross. The Theban Mysteries (1971) This appears to be the third in the series, if Last Analysis was the first. Kate and Reed are now married. Her old school asks her to lead a seminar on Antigone, which has too much relevance to the current political and social situation. This is the time of the Vietnam War and draft resistance, etc. The brother of one the girls hides in the school, but the guard dogs find him and scare him nearly to death. Then his mother turns up dead in the school, and the guard dogs get the blame for scaring her to death, except that their handler protests they couldn’t have done so without his knowing of her presence. So there’s the mystery. Kate’s discovers that it was neither murder nor the effect of dogs on a phobic woman, but an accidental death brought about by the dynamics of a dysfunctional family. No criminal charges result, and Kate and Reed return to their domestic bliss.
     I like this book better than the first, even though the puzzle is rather lame and lamely solved. But the scenes of the seminar ring true; the author has clearly taught adolescents, and knows how to make bright students credible as characters. Nicely done, but still only ** (2005)

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