St. Martin's, Jan 2003, 22.95, 240 pp.
The elderly owner of Aumerle Court wheelchair bound Daphne Pedlinge sees the corpse in the center of the estate's Tudor maze from her observation perch in the long gallery section of the manor house. Her staff calls the police and County of Calleshire Detective Inspector C.D. Sloan arrives to investigate. He notices that the estate steward Captain Jeremy Prosser reacts quite peculiar upon seeing the dead person through binoculars as if he knows something about the victim. With Daphne's direction, C.D. reaches the female corpse laid out like a sacrifice at the foot of the statue of the Minotaur.
While C.D. questions the staff at Aumerle Court, David Collins reports his wife is missing. The police quickly realize that she is the victim found dead in the maze. However, C.D. cannot determine any motive or opportunity for someone to kill the mother of a hospitalized child that expected her to be with him.
Fans of a British police procedural will want to read the cleverly drawn AMENDMENT OF LIFE. The tale uses as a backdrop an intriguing look at the changes to the aristocracy in recent years. Though the secondary cast is an interesting group that strengthens the fascinating story line, this novel belongs to the” seedy” lead investigator. Catherine Ard writes a pleasurable tale that the audience will enjoy even as identifying the killer is as difficult to achieve as completing the maze that contained the deceased.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner