Masterly mystery writer Robert Barnard transports us to the Yorkshire town of Haworth, once home to the literary Brontes, now a crowded tourist mecca, for "The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori, " which begins with the shocking discovery of a young man's strangled body in an Indian Tandoori restaurant parking lot.
Who is the victim, and how did he come to meet this untimely fate? Detective Constable Charlie Peace and Detective Superintendent Mike Oddie's search for answers soon leads them to Ashworth, a nearby artists' colony, where young Irishman Declan O'Hearn had recently sought work as a handyman.
No ordinary place, Ashworth is something of a shrine to once-renowned painter Ranulph Byatt, an egotistic man who craves adulation from his inferiors and resists the judgment of his peers. To the surprise of all and the jealousy of some, Declan O'Hearn is one of the rare people Byatt welcomes into his studio and allows to watch him paint.
Charlie Peace, an experienced police officer and always a favorite among Barnard's readers, has rarely encountered such tense undercurrents as he finds at Ashworth, and he's perhaps never been among a group of people so ill-matched. They live in supposed community but lead uniquely warped lives. How does young Declan, inexperienced in the ways of the world, seeking his first great adventure, fit into this dangerous mix?
Charlie suspects Declan found more than adventure at Ashworth. Following in Declan's footsteps, he searches for the incredible story behind the body in the parking lot and the sad facts behind the destroyed hopes of a youthful wanderer.
With the kind of classic twist that only Barnard can provide, "The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori" evokes memories of such Barnard masterpieces as "Death by Sheer Torture" while claiming its own place in the Barnard body of work as a powerful, insightful, witty, and always superbly entertaining novel of suspense.
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With the character of Declan O'Hearn, the amazingly prolific Robert Barnard pulls off the hat trick that every novelist attempts but only a fortunate few actually achieve: he creates a person we quickly come to care for, someone so unique and recognizable that we would know him if he walked into the room. Declan, an Irishman in his 20s, is a wandering minstrel, trying to see a bit of the world before he settles into whatever fate has in store for him. He is intelligent, eager to please, but lacks maturity.
The plot revolves around the murder of a young man whose body is found dumped in an old car outside an Indian restaurant in the town of Haworth in Northern England. This is Brontë country, where throngs of tourists pay homage to the writing family. Sent from Leeds to investigate are detective constable Charlie Peace and his boss, detective superintendent Mike Oddie. Charlie's black skin marks him as an oddity in the small villages, but it also helps him dig up the kind of details which other cops might not be offered by the locals. Declan falls under an umbrella of suspicion, due in part to his relationship with his eccentric employer and the strange circle of acolytes who surround him. Peace and Oddie put together the pieces with skill. But this one isn't really a whodunit: you can probably figure that out in 50 pages. It's the motive and the circumstances of the crime that make the book a gem. --Dick AdlerAbout the Author:
Robert Barnard (1936-2013) was awarded the Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Nero Wolfe Award, as well as the Agatha and Macavity awards. An eight-time Edgar nominee, he was a member of Britain's distinguished Detection Club, and, in May 2003, he received the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement in mystery writing. His most recent novel, Charitable Body, was published by Scribner in 2012.
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Book Description Collins Crime, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0002326655