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    St. Martin's Minotaur, August 2000

    Torrey Tunet, American translator, has retreated to a small Irish village to write children's stories when her best friend Rowena is accused of trying to run down her grandfather. When the grandfather is killed, Rowena is the immediate suspect and the guardia are disinclined to look further. Rowena had always had a close relationship with her grandfather--and the gossip rags implied that that relationship might have ventured into abuse and incest. Motive enough for the police. Not motive enough for Torrey, though. She believes she knows her friend well enough to be certain she could not kill. But if not Rowena, who is the killer?

    Although Dr Ashenden is respected throughout Ireland, he isn't universally loved. His daughter (Rowena's mother) has never gotten along with him. Rowena's brother is cut off entirely in the will. Torrey's sometimes lover is not who he appears to be. And a gypsy has been wandering around the village. Does Asherden's death relate to the earlier deaths--of Asherden's wife or a visiting technician?

    Dicey Deere does an excellent job developing convincing characters, spreading motives around, and describing the Irish village--with its rigid social structure dating back to Cromwell and early English conquests. While Torrey bedevils the guardia, neither is made a figure of fun. Deere provides just enough twists to keep the reader guessing. Every solution creates new problems. Even confessions fail to answer all of the facts.

    THE IRISH MANOR HOUSE MURDER is a superior mystery with an intriguing heroine, fascinating secondary characters, and an unforgetable setting.

    Four Stars

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