Lindsay Gordon is a freelance journalist who comes to spend a weekend reporting on a fundraising event at a girls' school at which one of her best friends, Paddy, is a teacher. One of the highlights of the weekend is a concert starring a famous cellist who is an old girl. But before she comes on stage, the old girl gets murdered, and Paddy is arrested. Lindsay determines to get to the bottom of what really happens in order to clear her friend.
After A Place of Execution, I was expecting this to be good, but in fact it was nothing special. I think this is quite an early novel, and it shows little of the style and polish of the other book. This was a fairly straightforward Agatha Christie-lke whodunnit, with a ludicrous number of suspects (from what I can remember, three pupils, two teachers, and three other people had plausible motives for wanting the cellist dead).
Lindsay forms a relationship with Cordelia, who's a friend of Paddy's, and is also at the school to help with the fund-raising, so there's a sort of back story about that relationship: Lindsay and Cordelia have different backgrounds and so there is a fair amount of spikiness there. I think this stuff was promising, but not really carried off as well as it needed to be.
I see that there are other books about Lindsay, and plenty of other books by Val McDermid. I will try another McDermid, but if this had been the first of hers that I'd read I wouldn't be that bothered about finding more.
Completed : 03-Jun-2005 (audiobook)