Select one of the keywords
Carnage On the Committee    by Ruth Dudley Edwards order for
Carnage On the Committee
by Ruth Dudley Edwards
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A delightful take on the British stiff upper lip, Carnage On the Committee is the latest in Ruth Dudley Edwards's series starring British upper class personages. The chairperson of a prestigious literary prize dies suddenly - just as the year's prize winner was to be chosen. Baroness 'Jack' Troutbeck is convinced to take over the chair. Not an easy task, considering the rest of the committee. Most are plugging their own choices to win, not because the writing is worthy but because they all have an agenda for self-aggrandizement.

Another murder occurs, decimating committee ranks. Can this go on? Should the contest be put on hold? What of all those budding authors waiting, oh so impatiently, for word that they have risen to the ranks of stardom? The Baroness says the show must go on, so the work of weeding out the deadwood continues with backbiting and name calling. I have to admit that many of the arguments for different books chased me out to left field. But the machinations were so outrageous, I laughed out loud - often.

The action moved right along with nary a hesitation. The Baroness, the most outspoken, biased individual to come along in a good while, is wonderful. Dervla, the Irish girl on the committee is out of her depth but plods on. Committee members, en masse, are insane to say the least and a source of outright guffaws. It took me a bit to get the focus of the book - I think because I have not read previous novels by this so-clever author. I shall remedy this.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Mystery books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews