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Can you name a mystery about bell ringing? Of course--The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers. How about another? Well, this book about small-town British coppers Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sergeant Troy might qualify: it begins when a young female campanologist in the village of Fawcett Green fails to show up for practice. Was Simone Hollingsworth kidnapped for ransom? Was her doting new husband involved? Or does her disappearance have something to do with her snooping neighbors--especially the neighbor's obsessive daughter? As she did so well inWritten in Blood, Caroline Graham captures the inwardly seething inhabitants of a supposedly placid village with the skill of an expert entomologist observing an anthill. And Barnaby and Troy are once again the perfect pair: the chief inspector's calm introspection is a fine match for the younger, brasher officer's occasional outbursts and blunders. Not the least of Graham's accomplishments is keeping the subgenre of the traditional British village mystery fresh and meaningful.--Dick Adler
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ISBN-10:  0312185774
ISBN-13:  978-0312185770
Author:  Caroline Graham
Publisher:  St Martins Pr
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review by . September 11, 1998
Caroline Graham's England consists of close-packed villages surrounded by miles and miles of nothing worth seeing, of hard-working city businessmen and urban coppers looking down their slim trim noses at country people and their insular ways, of village bobbies who know the villagers and the cycles of the seasons but naught about investigative work, and of quaint self-assured English eccentrics and villagers whose lives rarely extend beyond the boundary line. I don't know if they exist in Cool Britannica …
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