Friday, 15 September 2000

Michael Pearce: Dmitri and the One-Legged Lady (1999)

Edition: Collins, 1999
Review number: 623

The second Dmitri Kameron novel is an investigation into the theft of an icon, depicting the one-legged lady, who dedicated her life to charity after the accident which removed her limb. Like the crime in Dmitri and the Milk Drinkers, there are political overtones to the theft - the one-legged lady is particularly associated with relief from famine, and a harvest failure in the region that she originally came from has led to food riots which have attracted the attention of higher authority. Before she had been removed to a monastery near the town where Kameron practices as a lawyer, the response to the famine would have been to carry her in a procession, but this is not possible since she has been moved; ill feeling about this contributes to the general unrest.

Continuing the direction set in the first novel, Dmitri and the One-Legged Lady is enjoyable and funny, with many quick jokes reminiscent of Caryl Brahms and S.J. Simon.

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