Item description for The Accomplice (Felony and Mayhem Mysteries) by Elizabeth Ironside...
Jean Loftus has lived at Asshe House for more than 40 years. Its tidy contours, the soft colors of the garden, speak to an orderly, gracious life, a supremely English life. But when workmen unearth a skeleton from that garden, the skeletons from Jean's past begin rising, similarly, to the surface. And the life they speak to - a childhood in Revolutionary Russia, chaotic years as a refugee between the two world wars - was neither orderly nor English. Zita Daunsey, Jean's neighbor in this cozy Sussex town, would like to help Jean protect her secrets. But this task is made more difficult with the sudden arrival of a mysterious, aggressively inquisitive Russian student. Whose body has been moldering in the garden? What aging sins are Jean so anxious to conceal? And in trying to help the past stay buried, at what point does Zita become an accomplice to it?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.7" Width: 5.6" Height: 1.2" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Oct 15, 2006
Publisher Felony & Mayhem
ISBN 193339773X ISBN13 9781933397733
Availability 0 units.
More About Elizabeth Ironside
Elizabeth Ironside is the pseudonym of Lady Catherine Manning, wife of theBritish Ambassador to the U.S. Her first novel won Britain's John Creasy award for Best First Mystery of 1985, and Death in the Garden was short listed for Britain's CWA Silver Dagger for Best Mystery of 1995.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Accomplice (Felony and Mayhem Mysteries)?
I Beg To Differ... Aug 27, 2008
... I actually prefer this one to DEATH IN THE GARDEN. DITG got unwieldy and tiresome; this one, OTOH, I could not put down. True, I tend to skim a bit in Ironside's works, which I normally would not do. (Her descriptions can get loooong); but I found Zita absorbing, even her "European" (as another reviewer wrote) love for shoes. I also found Xenia totally repugnant, yet still had to read about her doings and motivations. Actually, the most repellent character to me would end up being a tie between Stevens and Valentina! (Gack! "Suede" skin on his bald head? I am revolted yet fascinated by that. His obsessions are dangerous, and he is just boorish.)(Valentina is so self-concerned it is almost incredible, and yet, don't we all know people like that?)
fans of death in the garden beware Jul 21, 2008
If you enjoyed Death in the Garden, do not read this book, as you will be sorely disappointed. Whereas Ironside's first novel was well crafted, her characters interesting and her story gripping, this reads like a very rough draft of a fairly poorly thought through plot. Again, Ironside develops a contemporary protagonist and story, intertwined with a second character's reminiscence of the past, but here the modern story is told in such a lazy fashion that you neither believe in the characters (or care for any of them) or the plot, which has such obvious twists as to be laughable. The older storyline, told through an old woman's reminiscences, is also heavily signposted, but quite engaging at times, but it cannot carry its bloated contemporary counterpart. The most disappointing thing is that Ironside does not develop the protagonist, rather she relies on clunky, convenient cliches -- the character repeatedly talks about her expensive shoes and clothes and the food she is cooking-- wow, she must be European!
Required Reading for A Most Intelligent & Sensitive Soul Aug 23, 2007
If you are perusing the mystery genre for bed-timing reading...this is not your book. If, however, you have high standards for elegant, highly intelligent, poignant, truth-shattering prose that reaches into your very soul...you will adore this unforgettable novel. Indeed, there is a reason why Elizabeth Ironside's used books are off-the-charts in pricing among her first editions. It is not because she is ho-hum like so many others in this genre. She is a stand-alone - a completely unique and brilliant author, for whom I shall search again, and again, looking forward to each book I can find knowing that at book's end I will be more knowledgable about the world in which I live; as well as more true to myself. Her novels, and this one especially, are that powerful.
Dull & pointless Aug 12, 2007
I couldn't finish this book. I put it down several times before I gave up completely. The dead body was irrelevant, the protagonist uninteresting, and the cloud of Russian suspense heavy-handed and cliched. I would also argue that Ironside made the relationships too artificially complex yet superficial for readers to care. This novel was a deep disappointment compared to the wonderful DEATH IN THE GARDEN.
so not a good read May 24, 2007
I see everybody here gave this 5 stars. You can disagree with me but I really did not like this book, especially when compared with Death in the Garden. I felt the author added a lot of unnecessary confusion, and seemed unable to decide whether she was writing a saga of the Russian nobility from the twilight of the Romanov empire to the present or a murder mystery. There is very little murder and mystery and by page 200 you've got nothing but someone's remains found in the garden. It's not even established that a crime was committed, and the eventual outcome is downright lame. I dont know where the author came up with the Russian idea, whether it is her own background or she made it up, but Dr. Zhivago this isn't. She has a lot of characters that don't further the story, and the family relationships are unnecessarily complex (stepchildren of stepchildren?).
An example of confusing, as well as making a big deal out of what turns out to be insignificant is the background of Al, the boyfriend of the main character's step-daughter-in-law's stepdaughter. At the start of the book, she refers to him as black. While this was originally published in the UK, to most American readers, this would indicate a person of African ancestry. Later, she tells us Al is Indian. That is Asian, not African. After that, Al tells Xenia he is Muslim and may be Pakistani. Pakistan was once part of India in the colonial days, but not for some time now. Near the end of the book, she refers to him having pale skin. The only point of all this is to show that Xenia, a Russian, has strong racial prejudices and would consider marriage to a non-Caucasian man to be less desirable. I think it should have been left out.
Most of the book dwells in the past, sometimes going back 200 years. A mystery (as this is marketed) should be tightly written with a plot that moves and clues for the reader. I got tired of this book long before the middle and I was very disappointed in the ending, which I won't reveal.