Friday, July 18, 2014
GOLD DIGGER by FRANCES FYFIELD
Frances Fyfield writes unusual mystery novels of which this is a prime example. It begins with a woman sitting on the lap of a man who it becomes obvious is dead. She refuses to believe it at first but must convince herself he is really gone. She doesn't seem quite stable mentally and remembers how she first met him when she was put into his house to rob it. She knew the house and the man because her mother had cleaned house for him when the woman was a child. At long last she calls for an ambulance and police to come for his body.
A former cop named Jones remains in the house afterward as though he belongs there. We learn the story of Mad Di (Diana Quigly), Jones and a few other denizens of a little seaside town in England slowly, leaving plenty of time and room for misunderstanding. The dead man is Thomas Porteous, Di's husband, who was much older in chronological age but a child in spirit. The house had been a primary school for years but now is a huge gallery for Thomas' collection of art. Both Thomas and Di have an excellent eye for wonderful art. A friend who is otherwise a con man finds the art for them, but also they travel and search it out for themselves.
Meanwhile, Thomas' grown daughters and the husband of one conspire against him. They feel entitled to his wealth despite the fact that their mother had taught them to despise him. Mother apparently drowned when she fell from a ferry in the English Channel. Thomas and Di have several years of supreme happiness by simply ignoring the rest of the world. I loved them both and, as intended, hated his children.
However, (and you knew that "however" was coming, did't you?) I failed to get into the story of these people. It was difficult to believe Di could be so gullible with her life experiences and yet sometimes so wise. I never could figure out Jones and other characters, and the plot didn't really make a lot of sense to me. Sometimes a book doesn't hit me right for unknown reasons and I think that's the case with this one. I think for one thing Fyfield is sort of an acquired taste, one that I have yet to acquire.
Recommended only for Fyfield fans
Source: Partners in Crime Book Tours