Monday, July 13, 2015

Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell


This one had been on my reading list for ages, and when I saw my library owned a digital copy I checked it out. It is a delightful mystery told in a nontraditional way, and I enjoyed it very much. A group of young lawyers is alarmed when one of their own is accused of murder while away on a vacation in Venice, and the story unfolds in a series of letters sent by their friend and accounts by other people who become involved.

Our main sleuth and first-person narrator is one Hilary Tamar - and it is never actually stated if Hilary is a man or a woman, which was kind of annoying but kind of fun. He or she is a law professor and, while he or she interacts with the others, acts more as an observer than anything else. This was a really fun read, a sort of Wodehousian mystery novel, with humor and heart, and I was so sad to see that the author has died, and that there are only four books in this series. The writing is truly delightful, and I’m very much looking forward to the next mystery in this series.

Books in the Hilary Tamar series:

1. Thus Was Adonis Murdered
2. The Shortest Way to Hades
3. The Sirens Sang of Murder
4. The Sibyl in Her Grave


Thus Was Adonis Murdered (#1 in the Hilary Tamar series) by Sarah Caudwell (Scribner, 1981)

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