MARGARET YORKE – Dead in the Morning. Dr. Patrick Grant #1. Bantam, paperback; 1st US printing, October 1982. First published in the UK by Geoffrey Bles, hardcover, 1970.

   I read and reviewed Cast for Death, the fifth and last of Margaret Yorke’s Patrick Grant books, earlier this year and found it somewhat of a muddle as a detective novel, but I did find Dr. Grant’s struggle with love and romance quite enjoyable.

   Dead in the Morning, the first of the series, is a total opposite: no romance in sight for Dr. Grant, and the detective story is both engaging and fun to read. He is not a medical doctor, by the way, but an Oxford don with a (very) inquisitive mind.

   As a twist to what we come to expect in stories like one — an aged, invalid matriarch of a dysfunctional family who also keeps a close tight watch on her pursestrings — it is not she who is the murder victim, but surprisingly enough, it is the cook instead. Could she have known more about someone in the family than she should have? Someone who did not want that something known?

   I liked this one, and it only goes to show that when you read the books in a series out of order — or in this case, last one first — you ought not to give up on the earlier ones as well.

NOTE:   A previous review by me was posted here last year, but my comments themselves were written in 1980.