Carnage on the Committee

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9780006512165: Carnage on the Committee

Latest in Ruth Dudley Edwards's hilarious crime series lampooning the British Establishment: `I fear it will make you laugh out loud on public transport' Evening StandardWhen the chairperson of the prestigious Knapper-Warburton Literary Prize dies in suspicious circumstances, Robert Amiss (the token sane member of the judging panel) wastes no time in summoning Baroness 'Jack' Troutbeck to step into the breach.Speculation that a killer may be targeting the judges worries the baroness not in the slightest - it's the prospect of immersing herself in modern literature that fills her with dread. But noblesse must oblige, even when it means joining the ranks of the superciliati sitting in judgement of the literati.With the baroness at the helm, the judges resume the task of whittling away at the short-list. But the killer, too, has resumed and is whittling away at the judges one by one ...

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About the Author:

Ruth Dudley Edwards was born in Dublin and now lives in London. A historian and prize-winning biographer, her most recent non-fiction includes the authorized history of The Economist, a portrait of the British Foreign Office, written with its co-operation, and The Faithful Tribe, a portrait of the Orange Order.

From Publishers Weekly:

In her 10th comic Robert Amiss mystery, Dudley Edwards (The Anglo-Irish Murders) mercilessly skewers the book publishing world. The poisoning death of a peer, who served as the chairperson for the eccentric selection committee for a new British literary prize to outshine the Booker, causes a crisis. Panel member Amiss, an aspiring mystery novelist, recruits his friend, Baroness Jack Troutbeck, to fill the breach. The baroness, a politically incorrect bisexual who might remind some readers of John Dickson Carr's legendary Sir Henry Merrivale, quickly moves to impose her view that literature should be judged on its literary merits, steamrollering over her outraged colleagues who award points to entries based on the author's ethnic, economic and political backgrounds. As one judge after another meets an untimely end, the police place the remaining panel members under guard. Edwards is unabashedly cynical about publishing and the methods authors use to get ahead. The byplay between the baroness and her rivals is often amusing, though less acidly memorable than Robert Barnard's dialogue in works like Death of an Old Goat, which satirized academic politics. Those interested in solving the puzzle should be forewarned that there's no rational basis for anyone to deduce the identity of the killer, who ultimately mails a confession to the police.
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