Fatal Charm

by anne morice

‘Rotten news, isn’t it?’

‘Rotten,’ I agreed, ‘but I daresay it will come all right in the end.’

He stared as though I were either mad or drunk, since it turned out he was talking about the death of Eliza Deverell.


‘Rotten news, isn’t it?’

‘Rotten,’ I agreed, taking it that he referred to the state of the national economy, ‘but I daresay it will come all right in the end.’

He stared at me as though I were either raving mad or drunk, which was excusable, since it turned out that he had been talking about the untimely death of Eliza Deverell.

The renowned Deverell theatrical family, gathers to celebrate the 80th birthday of its matriarch, actress Evadne Proctor, on a TV show specializing in celebrities’ lives. An unexpected guest is daughter Eliza, a former actress now married to an anthropologist and living on a Pacific island. Always a source of tension in a bickering family, Eliza is soon found in her hotel room, dead from a mixture of pain-killers and alcohol.

Actress Tessa Crichton and her husband, chief inspector Robin Price, become involved, and while Evadne angles for a suicide verdict, Tessa finds that Eliza had a lot to live for. Soon other members of the Deverell clan excite Tessa’s suspicions. This final ‘Tessa Crichton’ mystery shows Anne Morice’s dry wit and keen observations in full effect.

Fatal Charm was originally published in 1988. This new edition features an introduction and afterword by crime fiction historian Curtis Evans.


‘A light hand, an engaging ease, and an inventive mind: all welcome qualities in the writing of crime novels.’ Financial Times

‘What makes her such good company – and the whole point of Miss Morice’s book is to converse, as it were, with Tessa Crichton – is not her deductive skill but her shrewd eye and quick tongue for people and situations.’ Daily Telegraph

Bibliographic Data

Category: Crime Fiction
Publication Date: October 2021
Territories: World English
ISBN: 978 1 914150 35 7 (paperback)/978 1 914150 36 4 (ebook)

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