Books: Murder in October

DEATH OF A PEER—Ngaio Marsh—Little, Brown ($2). The titled English Lampreys are harebrained like the Sycamores in You Can't Take It With You. Broke, haunted by bumbailiffs, M'Lord and Lady and their six assorted offspring are full of charades, false whiskers and profound contempt for rich Uncle Gabriel.Touched for another loan, Uncle G. comes to call, bringing his wife, regarded by the Lampreys as mad if not actually a witch. Uncle G. expires with a silver-plated meat skewer in his eye; Detective-Inspector Alleyn puts them all through the hoops. Delightful story.

THE DEAD CAN TELL—Helen Rellly—Random House ($2). Plugging New York's Finest,...

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