A Charitable Body

A Charitable Body

Book - 2012
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"Robert Barnard, the internationally acclaimed Diamond Dagger-winning crime writer, dissects family bonds at their best and worst in this stunning novel of suspense. What an honor--to become trustee of an English stately home museum. Yorkshire Detective Inspector Charlie Peace's wife, Felicity, is initially thrilled when she's asked to join the board that oversees Walbrook Manor, an eighteenth-century mansion that's now part of a charitable trust. She's in for some surprises. With its shabby salons and drafty hallways, Walbrook shows signs of the financial burden it caused its recent owners, members of the related Quarles and Fiennes families, known more for feuds than for affectionate familial ties. They are known also for shadowy intrigues, great and small, some of which may emerge now that Walbrook and its archives are open to the public. The revelations could be devastating and dangerous. Rupert Fiennes and Sir Stafford Quarles represent two lines of Walbrook's lords of the manor. Rupert seems relieved to have relinquished the estate to charitable hands, while Sir Stafford clings with perhaps unseemly pride to his position as chairman of the Walbrook Manor Trust Board. A tentative peace reigns, but when the wreck of a car and the remains of a body turn up in a nearby lake, it soon becomes clear that one of Walbrook's grimmest secrets may date to the years between the two world wars and may involve something much worse than mere malice. With police resources focused on more timely cases, Charlie and Felicity are left to discover that old sins are never forgotten, that "family" means more than a slot on the ancestral tree, and that sometimes there can be a good reason for murder. Suspenseful, witty, and, as always, superbly insightful, A Charitable Body shows acclaimed master of mystery Robert Barnard at his clever best"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781439177433
Branch Call Number: M BARNARD
Characteristics: 241 pages ; 21 cm


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May 24, 2017

This was Robert Barnard's last book. He died in 2013, and this was published in 2012, so that may account for the first part of the book wandering more than usual. However, I did find that he tucked all his loose ends in very well and the ending left the people with badly damaged childhoods no worse off than when we met them at the beginning, and we understand how they arrived at their present situation. Not up to his usual standards, but the reader picks up quite a bit of British history from WWI to post WWII, so it's well worth reading.

meandalex Jul 21, 2012

I have read every book written by this author and enjoyed them very much. Unfortunately this latest book seems to have been written by someone else.

The first 131 pages are taken up with very boring chat and not much else. Low and behold on page 132 a body turns up but it is too late to save this book. Charlie Priest suddenly has no personality or humor unlike his previous books.

I can only think that either Mr. Barnard is getting too old at age 76 to care anymore about characters and a good story line or this book was a manuscript that nothing was ever done with and Mr. Barnard dusted it off and tried to update it, if so it did not work. I find it truly sad to think that either of these suggestions may be true.

This book is not worth reading so don't waste your time.


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