St. Martin?s, Jan 2001, 23.95, 256 pp.
Detective Michael Thackery is in trouble with the Bradfield brass since a female police officer died on his last major case. The leadership claims negligence on his part and failure to obey orders caused the death. He is up for review in a short time but his superior, Detective Superintendent Jack Longley sends Michael to a seminar at St. Fridsuade's College to keep him out of the firing line.
The Master of the college, which happens to be Michael's alma mater, wants his former pupil to investigate the sudden disappearance of Professor Mark Harrison. The professor vanished with his girlfriend, but left behind a wife under psychiatric care, a son dead from a drug overdose, and a bitter daughter. Much to Michael's surprise, his investigation leads to scandals and crimes that the college would prefer never see the light of day.
Patricia Hall's ongoing series starring Michael Thackery and his girlfriend Laura Ackray continues to be one of the better British police procedurals on the market today. SKELETON AT THE FEAST is a complex, multi-layered mystery that shows how ugly the academic world can turn. The romance between Michael and Laurie is progressing and fans of the series will take much pleasure in this novel and want to read the next book in this delightful series
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner