Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Nancy Pickard. No Body (1986)

     Nancy Pickard. No Body (1986) Jennifer Cain, manager of a charity and live-in companion to a Geof, cop, has to find out why there are no bodies in the closed part of a cemetery owned by Harbor Lights, the funeral home. At the funeral of John Rudolph the corpse of Sylvia Davis, receptionist/secretary at Harbor Lights, is found face down on John’s body, her skirt tucked up around her waist, and her long hair wound around her throat. So Jenny now has two mysteries to work on. She solves them both, of course. Sylvia was a lonely girl who liked men, so there are plenty of suspects, but the actual motive was money. The perp kills two others besides Sylvia, and tries to do Jenny, too.
     There’s a nicely varied cast of characters, most of them a little better than mere cardboard cutouts, the writing is intelligent and witty with the occasional nod to the hard-boiled school, the ambience varies from sunny small-town New England to gothic stormy wind and rain and dark enclosed spaces. All in all, a pleasant enough entertainment. It drags a bit in the middle. I found it at the food bank’s permanent floating yard sale, it’s worth a good deal more than the 25¢ I paid for it. **½

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