Deadly Slipper: A Novel of Death in the Dordogne
Doubleday, 2005 (2005)
Reviewed by Pat Elliott
ede Dunn disappeared almost twenty years ago. Her twin sister Mara has never stopped looking for her. Mara moved to the Dordogne area of France where Bede disappeared while on a hiking holiday, hoping to feel closer to her sister and perhaps find the truth about what happened to her.
ede was an orchid enthusiast. When Mara finds an old camera in a junk shop, she is convinced it belonged to her sister. The police have other ideas. They have long since stopped looking for the missing woman and refuse to open a twenty-year-old case. As luck would have it, Mara discovers a roll of film in the old camera. When she has it developed she finds picture after picture of orchids, and a photo of an old house that formerly held pigeons. Believing the roll of film documents Bede's last hike, Mara vows to trace her sister's footsteps and discover her fate. Mara takes the pictures to Julian Wood, an English expert on orchids, asking him to help her find the plants pictured. Julian is reluctant to take on this crazy mission of following a trail twenty years cold – until he sees the last picture. It shows a rare undocumented species of orchid known as
ulian and Mara's romp through the French countryside is sometimes amusing, sometimes confusing and always unpredictable. Mara meets Julian's unorthodox friends and learns of fierce rivalry among orchid hunters and collectors. The knowledge that Bede is not the only missing woman in the area over a twenty year period convinces Mara and Julian that something is terribly wrong in the peaceful rural surroundings. The quest for the
becomes dangerous as Julian and Mara disentangle the threads of clues leading up to Bede's disappearance. Wan gives a good read in
, complete with a surprise ending.
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