Death of a Perfect Mother
New York: Dell Publishing, 1988. Two previous Dell editions [stated], First Dell printing [stated] thus. Mass market paperback. 222,  pages. Cover has some wear. Signed by the author on the title page. Robert Barnard (23 November 1936 – 19 September 2013) was an English crime writer, critic and lecturer. His first crime novel, A Little Local Murder, was published in 1976. The novel was written while he was a lecturer at University of Tromsø in Norway. He went on to write more than 40 other books and numerous short stories. Barnard said that his favorite crime writer was Agatha Christie. In 1980 he published a critique of her work titled A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie. Barnard was awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2003 by the Crime Writers Association for a lifetime of achievement. Under the pseudonym Bernard Bastable, Robert Barnard published two standalone novels and two alternate history books starring Wolfgang Mozart as a detective, he having survived to old age. Derived from a Kirkus review: A working-class family in a small English town is the latest focus for Barnard's all-seeing eye and finely-honed scalpel. Lillian Hodsden is a harridan of a mother who's secretly hated by sons Gordon and Brian. And their father Fred is no help. So ex-Army son Gordon hatches a plot with Brian to murder Lill. But before the plan can go into action, the boys are in for quite a shock they learn that Lill's strangled body has been found. . . exactly where they planned it should be! Enter, then, Chief Inspector Dominic McHale, on his first murder case--a conceited snob eager to clutch greedily at the first obvious suspect, ignoring his fellow officers' observations in his haste to return to the bosom of his social and intellectual equals. But, of course, justice will finally have its ironic innings, Barnard-style. Literate, absorbing, funny, and wise--another character-rich gem from a remarkably consistent master of quiet, convincing suspense in sharply-drawn social milieus. Condition: Very good.
Keywords: Lillian Hodsden, Mother, Anne Watson, Murder, Strangled, Inspector Dominic McHale, Police, Criminal Investigation, Motive, Suspects