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By Robert Barnard

Scribner, May 2005 ($24.00)
ISBN: 0743253469

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

For readers who are not familiar with Robert Barnard's books or style of writing, THE GRAVEYARD POSITION is as good a place as any to become familiar with both. The tales Barnard writes usually deal with a dysfunctional family, characters you love to hate, and characters you strongly think someone should kill. In fact, if you were part of the family, you'd likely kill them yourself!

In this case, the death of Clarissa Cantelo has brought together her remaining relatives who are putting a good deal of effort into pretending to mourn her passing. When a relative the others thought was long dead shows up to claim his inheritance, he discovers that somone in the family would prefer him to be dead for real.

This is not the most suspenseful or the most well-written book of Barnard's 34 titles published by Scribner, nor is it the worst. I found the story adequate. But then, I'm a sucker for Barnard's books. I like a traditional mystery where it's okay to dislike the characters because they truly aren't very nice people. In most cases, one doesn't feel comfortable wishing for an early death to this character or that. I heartily enjoy Barnard's books and I'm not shy about announcing, "someone should kill him!" as I read through the pages.

Even on a bad day, I can't think of anyone who does it better than Robert Barnard.

Previous titles by this author include: A CRY FROM THE DARK, THE CORPSE AT HAWORTH TANDOORI, THE BONES IN THE ATTIC. For a more complete list of titles, please click here. We have an older review of THE CORPSE AT HAWORTH TANDOORI. If you would like to read this review, please click here.

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