Reviewed By: Harriet Klausner
The Office of the Dead
Amazon US HC Amazon Canada HC
Class/Genre: Mystery Historical
Series: Roth Trilogy # 3
St. Martin's Minotaur, Aug 2000, $24.95, 352 pp.
In 1958, Wendy Appleyard feels like life is over for her at the ripe old age of twenty-six. She is broke with no job yet is thinking of divorcing Henry, her husband of five years after seeing him humping a wealthy widow. Desperate, Wendy turns to her long-time friend, Janet Byfield for solace and a bit of security as she tries to turn her life around.
From Wendy's perspective, Janet lives the perfect life in Rosington with her happy marriage to devastatingly handsome clergyman David and their precious daughter Rosie. However, perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. Instead, former transgressions surface that lead to new misdeeds. Death has arrived in this small cathedral city and only Wendy, not being part of the community, begins to see the links to the late 1890's and a fifteenth century witch burning. However, will she fully understand what is happening in time to stop a future calamity?
THE OFFICE OF THE DEAD, the third tale in Andrew Taylor's chilling Roth Trilogy (see the exciting THE FOUR LAST THINGS and THE JUDGEMENT OF STRANGERS) is an enjoyable village mystery. The story line centers on how the past, even the distant centuries, retain a grip on the present and future. The characters seem real and the mysteries are exhilarating. However, it is Mr. Taylor's ability to use beautiful prose to invoke imagery that entices the audience into thinking about their own links to the past that makes him so good and this trilogy worth reading.
Reprinted with permission. Do Not repost without permission from the author, Harriet Klausner