Cover image for Larkspur : a mystery
Larkspur : a mystery
Simonson, Sheila, 1941-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
234 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Thomas Dunne book."
Format :


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Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Regency romance writer Simonson has turned her hand to mystery writing with very satisfying results. The heroine is Lark Dailey, part-time basketball coach at the local junior college and full-time owner of Larkspur Books in a small, remote town in Northern California. The Fourth of July weekend is spent at the elegant summer lodge of poet David Llewellyn, an old friend of Lark's mother. Also in attendance are Lark's lover and local policeman, Jay Dodge; a local newspaper and small press publisher and his wife and daughter; Llewellyn's niece (an English literature teacher) and her unpleasant husband (under indictment for drug growing); an always-on-stage ex-dancer; a surly Filipino cook; and a beautiful Mexican houseboy. Llewellyn's death by poisoning (a homemade decoction of larkspur in his Campari and soda) of course brings everything to a halt, and not surprisingly all the houseguests turn out to have had the means, motive, and opportunity for doing the deed. Simonson's use of standard plot devices and a romantic subplot are handled with surprising skill. Watch for the next one. --Stuart Miller

Publisher's Weekly Review

This lively and appealing first mystery pits bookstore owner Lark Daily (the Monte, Calif., store is called Larkspur Books) and her policeman lover Jay Dodge against the murderer of elderly Dai Llewellyn, a rich, homosexual and renowned American poet. Because she's the daughter of a well-known poetess, Lark and Jay are invited for a Fourth of July weekend to Dai's luxurious fishing lodge. The house party is rudely disrupted when Dai is poisoned with larkspur. The guests are all suspects, of course, but immediate suspicion falls on Miguel, Dai's houseboy and lover, who disappears. While Jay, who is acting head of the local CID, investigates, Lark does a little probing of her own, particularly when Dai's will names as his heir the son of one of the guests, a former dancer; the young man is now revealed as Dai's offspring. The arrival of Lark's mother, designated Dai's literary executor, precipitates more violence. Simonson, previously the author of Regency romances ( Love and Folly ), makes a promising debut in the mystery field, deftly juggling a cozy modern suspense story with an up-to-date romance. ( June ) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved