ROBERT BARNARD Death of a Perfect Mother

ROBERT BARNARD – Death of a Perfect Mother.

Charles Scribner’s Sons, US, hardcover, 1981. Paperback reprint: Dell, 1985. Previously published in the UK as Mother’s Boys: Collins Crime Club, 1981.

   Who killed Lill Hodsden? Thick-skinned, loud-mouthed, high-tempered Lill, bane of the local merchants and her neighbors; lusty Lill, who knows how to trade sexual favors for a telly and maybe a car; tempestuous Lill, who can’t get along with her daughter or her mother but whose two grown sons adore her so she says.

   Gordon and Brian seem to be the perfect sons, but the reader finds them plotting to kill her in Chapter One. They can only get away from their vulgar, doting mother by getting rid of her, they say. But when she’s found strangled, it develops that there are plenty of others with motives for getting Lill out of the way.

   Barnard’s mordant humor makes the process of finding out whodunit a pleasurable read.

– Reprinted from The Poisoned Pen, Vol. 6, No. 4, Fall 1986