Books: Don Vivant

A TREASURY ALARM by Jocelyn Davey Walker; 229 pages; $9.95

Ambrose Usher sniffs and swirls a mystery as he would a vintage claret from the cellars of his Oxford college. A philosophy don vivant who is summoned from time to time to put down wickedness on behalf of Her Majesty's government, he is the most erudite amateur detective in current fiction.

In A Treasury Alarm, Jocelyn Davey's fifth Usher novel, Ambrose is in the exotic city of Boston to deliver a series of lectures at nearby Harvard. The Treasury—"the innerest of inner circles" —asks...

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