Before the Blog review – Death at Charity’s Point by William G. Tapply

I thought it would be a good idea to put all of my reviews in one place. I’ve therefore created a Before the Blog review page where all of these reviews can be found. I will hopefully be able to say where it was first posted and when I read it.

Title – Death at Charity’s Point

Publisher – Mysterious Press

Originally posted – Goodreads

Read – 24-27 October 2013


“Brady Coyne never meant to become a private lawyer to New England’s upper crust, but after more than a decade working for Florence Gresham and her friends, he has developed a reputation for discretion that the rich cannot resist. He is fond of Mrs Gresham – unflappable, uncouth and never tardy with a check – and he has seen her through her husband’s suicide and her first son’s death in Vietnam. But he has never seen her crack until the day her second son, George, leaps into the sea at jagged Charity’s Point.

The authorities call it a suicide, but Mrs Gresham cannot believe that her son, like his father, would take his own life. as Brady digs into the apparently blemish-free past of the upper-class prep school history teacher, he finds dark secrets. George Gresham may not have been suicidal, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t in trouble.”

Brady Coyne is a lawyer to the elite. He spends his days tending to the needs of the upper echelons of Boston society, be it registering patents for an elderly inventor or dealing with the custody battle of a dog and her pups. One of his more established clients is Florence Gresham. Florence first hired Brady 10 years ago to investigate the death of her eldest son Win, who was reported killed in the Vietnam war. That time all Brady could do was confirm Win’s death but Florence, practical and unflappable simply paid him his fee and retained his services ever since.

Nothing seems to phase Florence, not even the suicide of her husband Dudley. However, when her second son, George, also appears to commit suicide the facade begins to drop and Florence instructs Brady to look into the death of George, adamant he would not have committed suicide.

Brady, despite his misgivings, begins to delve closer into George’s death. At first all is as it would first appear. The Pathologist stands by his finding of suicide and the presence of a note supports this. Colleagues at the elite prep school George taught at can shed no light on why he would want to take his own life, nor can find a reason why someone would want to take it. However, about a quarter of the way through the book clues start to appear to hint that George’s death may not have been a suicide after all.

This is the first novel I have read by this author and so did not know what to expect. I forgot that this was written in 1984 and found it reminded me of Perry Mason.

This is quite a gently paced story, there are no car chases or shoot outs. I guessed where the story was heading but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of it. Although the story was about the death of George he was almost a background character, with Brady being the main focus.

I enjoyed reading this and will definitely read more of this series.

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