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A Very Insipid Passion

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A Very Insipid Passion
A Detective Story
by R.N. Mitra
ISBN 0736826359
324 pages
$16.00

Dr. Martin, a Forensic Consultant to the City of New York, is called to see a patient who has tried to commit suicide. Patient's name is Dr. Alexander Bloorwoise (pronounced: Blair). He is a retired English physician. He remains depressed. As therapy progresses, he talks about the past. Especially how he lost his best friend while he was training to be a surgeon. His friend Seth left him a first edition of Agatha Christie's The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. Dr. Bloorwoise goes to the village of Lassington to practice and meets Selma Grey. Selma Grey soon causes havoc in the village. Blackmail. Selma Grey dies, of tetanus, attended in her last minutes by Dr. Bloorwoise. Dr. Bloorwoise has developed a passion for old Golden Age Mysteries and especially Agatha Christie. Since he was reading the Murder of Roger Ackroyd before Selma's death, it is assumed he killed her. Did he? He leaves England and later settles in New York. When Curtain comes out, he cannot read it. It is as if he cannot stand the death of his best friend. Is that the reason for his continued depression? Dr. Martin is sorely puzzled. Dr. Bloorwoise himself comes up with a suggestion: if he could participate in the investigation of a very intricate murder case! Dr. Martin is the only physician who can help him. For his best friend is Detective Halley Willard, the person in charge of the Mayor's vaunted Anti-bias crime unit. A case comes up which seems totally out of the ordinary. A young man is killed, shot to death on the streets of Manhattan, in the early hours of the morning by a woman. There is an eyewitness. Mysteries pile up. Who was the young man who was murdered? No one can find his antecedents. In his pocket were found two fruits: apple and guava and a roast sweet potato. His girl friend, Eve is prime suspect.

Meanwhile, the city tycoon, a millionaire named Dabnor Champion shows unusual interest in the murder. He is the Mayor's biggest supporter. His girl friend Gregorina consults Martin. What was happening in the Champion penthouse? Martin gets involved. Inspector Dobbelia Smith, an outspoken but not too bright detective is in charge of the murder case. She bungles the initial investigation. Alexander Bloorwoise steps in and aids the police to look for the murderer in the right place. Halley's career is on the line, suddenly, as newspapers in an election year, scream for blood. Another murder happens before the end. Is the end really the end? Was justice served?

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