Morgan, Fidelis - 'The Murder Quadrille'
Sarah and Martin Beaumont are holding a dinner-party, on Sarah's part, very reluctantly. Guests include Martin's solicitor, Max, and his girlfriend Lisa. Making up the rest of the party are Martin and Sarah's bank manager, Kevin and their next door neighbour - an American crime writer - Tess Brandon. The dinner party is to encourage Kevin to look favourably at a much needed loan to expand the business, something that Sarah doesn't agree is necessary.
Sarah is a partner in the family firm, having invested her redundancy money from previous employment to float the company. She is a key asset in the firm, working from home as the office is so small. Therefore she is very annoyed when after being introduced to the guests as "a housewife", is promptly ignored. The company spends most of the time at the dinner table discussing murder and how important it is to dispose of the body so it isn't ever found. They discuss the case of the missing librarian - speculating on whether she has been murdered or whether she has just gone away.
Sarah has already made the decision to leave Martin and a very boring marriage, so takes time out between serving and clearing the table to pack a bag ready for her departure. Unfortunately during the argument with Martin after the guests leave, a knife accidentally ends up in someone's side. Their problems are only just beginning.
Tess is curious when she sees the police arrive next door and tries to find out the full story as potential research for a new book. She is visited by a police detective and invited to go to the station to tell them what happened at the party. Keen to discover as much as she can, she goes willingly but perhaps it was a mistake to be so inquisitive.
The story is told from the points of view of several of the guests at the dinner party. I am sure that many readers will, like me, be able to foresee the eventual outcome, but the journey, with its twists and turns, is entertaining. THE MURDER QUADRILLE is a humorous book and an enjoyable read.
Susan White, England