Sheila Mallory frequently gets involved in the problems of her fellow residents in the seaside town of Taviscombe. This time, she has inheirited the personal papers of her longtime friend, Leonora, a well known journalist. Leonora died from drinking contaminated water from the stream on her own property. No source for the contaminated water has been found, yet several people have benefited from her death, leaving Sheila more and more certain that it was not an accident.
The first suspect is Leonora's brother Vernon, who was anxious to sell the property she lived on to land developers, an idea which did not meet with her approval. Then there is the beneficiary of Leornora's will, Marcus Bourne, a television personality who was not even acquainted with Leonora. However, Sheila soon discovers from Leonora's diary that there was a relationship between the two and that her old friend has many surprising events in her past which she was planning to reveal in her autobiography.
This report prepared by Tara Robertson
Signet, Jan 2003, 5.99, 256 pp.
Leonora Stavely was one of the first female journalist who became known by taking daring chances in all the hot spots of the world. Now, nearing eighty she has retired to a small cottage living the life of an eccentric recluse. She doesn't see very many people and is more than happy living with her animals for companionship. One of the few people who she stays in touch with her is Sheila Mallory who she has known since she was a child.
When Lenora dies, E. Coli is found in her bloodstream and the Environmental Agency said that there was something that got into the water supply. When Sheila looks closely at the stream that is allegedly the source of the contamination she sees no dead animals or vegetation. Knowing that her friend was getting ready to write her memoirs, Sheila strongly believes her friend was murdered. She just has to find a way to find out who and then try to prove it, no easy task since Leonora had plenty of enemies who would have benefited from her death.
Fans of British cozies will definitely want to read Mrs. Mallory AND DEATH BY WATER. The latest installment in this long running series is full of surprising twists and shocking turns. In trying to solve the who-done-it, Sheila gives the reader some fascinating insights into village life in England. Hazel Holt always has a fascinating story to tell and she does it very well.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner