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    A MURDER IN MAYFAIR by Robert Barnard

    Published in Britain as Touched by the Dead
    1999, (2000 first U.S. edition)

    Colin Pinnock, a British MP, is invited into the government as a junior minister. His joy is transformed, however, when he receives a message asking 'who do you think you are?' The ambivalent phrasing leads him to question both his ambition and his background. How did he come to arrive in a small English town with a mother and father well past normal parenting age? Why did he so closely resemble a long-vanished British Lord whose main claim to fame was that he had murdered his wife. And why was someone following him and trying to set him up?

    Pinnock is gradually consumed with the search for his true background, his blood family, and the mystery of who was following him and why. As his interest grows, so does the threat which escalates from a minor inconvenience to physical attacks.

    Using a light, first-person narrative, Robert Barnard (see more reviews of novels by Barnard) draws the reader into the character of Pinnock. American readers will enjoy the little Britisisms in Barnard's writing as well as the insightful view into British politics and government. Pinnock's efforts to answer that initial question about himself, both to solve the mystery, but also to become a complete man, are entirely engaging.

    Three Stars

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