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Grave Matters
A Dr. Patrick Grant Mystery
By Margaret Yorke

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Grave Matters (A Patrick Grant Mystery)

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Grave Matters
A Dr. Patrick Grant Mystery
By Margaret Yorke
Compass Press - Large Print, (2000)
ISBN: 0854563334
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - October 11, 2001

As detectives go, Dr. Patrick Grant is laid back and reserved. He solves his mysteries not from machismo but the exercise of his mental prowess and a determination to get to the bottom of the problem at hand. Grant is a scholar and professor of English Literature. His academic training has well-prepared him to unravel mysteries, both ancient and modern. In Grave Matters, Grant unexpectedly, and unintentionally, begins investigating an accidental death that may not have been as accidental as it first appeared.

While touring in Greece, Grant is a witness to the death of Amelia Brinton. She was the indomitable headmaster of a girl's school that his sister Jane attended as a girl. Amelia died when she was, apparently, accidently pushed off some steps leading down from the Acropolis. Because Amelia was traveling alone, and because Grant knew her, at least slightly, he took charge of seeing to her interment. He also took it upon himself to inform her niece of her aunt's death and to provide details of the funeral. He had not intended to call on Amelia's niece, Valerie Brinton, in person after his return. However, one thing led to another, and before he knew it, he was paying a condolence call on a less than distressed niece.

He meets Valerie at Mulberry Cottage, Brinton's former home that had been willed to Valerie. At the cottage he also meets Ellen, Valerie's niece. Grant is instantly attracted to her. He also meets Mildred Forrest. Mildred had been Amelia's traveling companion, and this was the first year she had not gone to Greece with Amelia. She has volunteered to catalog Amelia's numerous books. Many of Amelia's books will, Grant is sure, find decent home with many of his scholastic brothers and he uses the ploy of coming to look at the books to return often to Mulberry Cottage.

Through his continued association with Mulberry Cottage, Grant becomes acquainted with the local population and its mysterious going ons. For starters, Abbot's Lodge, the house next to the cottage, appears to be haunted. Furthermore, the new lady of the house, Carol Bruce, appears to be highly accident prone. This trait also extends to her dog, who drowns in a shallow stream. The mysteries continue to mount, but nothing of real consequence, that is, until Mildred dies after falling down the stairs at the British Museum.

Grant cannot accept that both old friends died, accidently, by falling down stairs. Something must be up, and for some reason Grant begins to suspect that the deaths of these two old women are connected to a book found missing from Amelia's collection - volume five of Cicero's Orations. Mildred is not the last death to grace the pages of this story, and as the body count grows, so does the certainty that all the deaths are some how connected. To help him get to the bottom of this quagmire, Grant enlists the aid of his sister and his friend, Detective Inspector Colin Smithers.

In Grave Matters Margaret Yorke has written a quick paced, yet leisurely mystery that will send shivers up your spine as the story reaches an unanticipated climax. With a firm grasp of human psychology, Yorke illustrates just how far some people will go to protect a secret. Yorke is a prolific and award winning writer. To date, she has written five novels that feature the indomitable Dr. Patrick Grant. The books in the Dr. Grant series are: Dead in the Morning, Silent Witness, Grave Matters, Mortal Remains, and Cast for Death.

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The large print edition of Grave Matters can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, which is the parent company of Compass Press.

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