Murder in the Queen’s Armes
(Gideon Oliver #3)
by Aaron Elkins
I’m not really sure how to rate this one. On one hand it was compelling, exciting, picturesque, and not your ordinary mystery. On the other hand it was a bit convoluted, long winded and…well, a bit weird.
Gideon and new wife Julie are in England on their honeymoon (why they went to England in the winter, I can’t guess. Well, apparently to tour Thomas Hardy’s old stomping ground but…?) Anyway, While they’re in Dorchester, Gideon goes to a museum to see a anthropologically exciting skull fragment, only to find it’s been stolen. Next, Gideon and Julie head to Dorset to check into their hotel. Gideon plans to check in on an old friend’s archaeological dig and finds the dig in a shambles and old friend Nate on the verge of being discredited by the archaeological groups in charge of the site. Much shenanigans ensue, Gideon is drawn in and in the end two people are dead and Gideon sleuths out the killer.
At the heart of the book, I really enjoyed the mystery and the picturesque scenery. I was able to figure out a lot of it as it happened (sorry, Gid!) but not the who, and it seems to me the story could’ve been wrapped up a lot faster without a lot of the extraneous information woven in, like the newspaper editor (none of that was relevant to the story really, and if it was a red herring, not a very good one.) but overall it was an interesting read. I liked it, but I didn’t love it, so 3 1/2 stars.
Published 1985 by Walker and Company New York