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Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, eighth Earl of Asherton, is sent to Scotland to solve the death of playwright Joy Sinclair in what PW termed a ``vividly characterized story of murder and espionage with elements of theatrical life, British class consciousness and love gone awry.'' (July)

The much acclaimed author of A Great Deliverance delivers her challenging second novel--a literate, vastly detailed, and intricately characterized piece which progresses from a frigid Scottish manor house/hotel to a swarming, theatrical London. Scotland Yard's Thomas Lynley (series detective and Earl of Asherton), unexpectedly assigned to a gory stabbing murder, uncovers deeply hidden family secrets and various psychological convolutions among suspects, but allows personal jealously to color his choice of prime suspect. A bit mechanical in places, and slow-moving in others, but steadily absorbing and masterful overall. The upcoming author tour should boost demand --especially from readers of George's first.

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