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Author
Muriel Spark.
Publisher New Directions  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.5 inches
ISBN 9780811216593
Pages/Publication Date 192/2006
Daedalus Item Code 23914
This item is not available.
Description
Five posh couples gather for a dinner party on an October evening, enjoying "the pheasant (flambé in cognac as it is)" and waiting for the arrival of late-coming guest Hilda Damien who has been unavoidably detained due to the fact that she is busy being murdered at that very moment. Mixed into Muriel Spark's "virtuoso performance" (Time Out) are a Monet, a mad Scottish uncle, some unconventional nuns, and a burglary ring run by a rent-a-butler, but the centerpiece of the novel is Margaret, a perfectly evil young murderess (and a classic sweet-faced hair-raising Sparkian horror). Margaret has married Hilda's rich son, having nabbed him at the fruit counter at Harrod's—and she has plans.

"Stiletto-sharp fiction…. As in the bitter confections of Ivy Compton-Burnett, it is the dialog that propels this dangerous, devilish book."—Scotland on Sunday

"The prevailing mood is urbane: the wine is poured, the talk continues, and all the time the ice on which the protagonists' world rests is being thinned from beneath, by boiling emotions and ugly motives…. No living writer [in 1990] handles the tension between formality of expression and subversiveness of thought more elegantly."—Independent on Sunday

 
 
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