Minotaur, Aug 2009, $24.95
In North Kerry, Ireland the students of St. Isidore’s boys boarding school sneak out of the dorm late at night for an impromptu midnight barbecue. Following their midnight soiree, the seven pupils sneak back into their tower only to be met by housemaster Maurice Tyson lying in a bloody mess with his throat cut.
The Garda Síochána send Dublin based sexagenarian Superintendent Denis Lennon and youthful Sergeant Molly Power to lead the investigation into the gruesome homicide. Fisher, the headmaster of St. Isidore’s, insists Tyson was the victim of kidnappers trying to abduct French student Bertrand Laporte, the son of a wealthy family. The two cops believe that suggestion is ridiculous until Bertrand is kidnapped when he returns to France, but Inspector Quilligan (and the Surete) rescue the lad. However, the police look at a different motive; that of a former student accusing Tyson of abuse.
The third Lennon-Powers Irish police procedural (see SECOND BURIAL FOR A BLACK PRINCE and THE FOUR COURTS MURDER) is an exciting boarding school whodunit. The insight into the goings on including pranks at a boy’s school seems real while the official investigation is well done and entertaining. Although the final solution appears weak especially by the standard of excellence for this series, fans will appreciate Andrew Nugent’s thrilling murder investigation.