By Ruth Rendell
Who can have suspected that the fascinating stag social gathering for the groom will be the prelude to the homicide of his shut pal Charlie Hatton? And Charlie's demise used to be purely the 1st in a string of confusing murders concerning small-time gangsters, dishonest husbands, and unfastened girls. Now leader Inspector Wexford and his assistant sign up for forces with the groom to trace down a killer . . .
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Extra info for Best Man to Die (Chief Inspector Wexford Mysteries)
Money’s not every thing. ’ Instead of the expected explosion, Charlie said softly and mildly, ‘Time you did. ’ Maurice had five children born in six years. Charlie’s crack could be taken as a compliment and as such, to the relief of George and Jack, Maurice took it. He smiled sheepishly at this tribute to his virility. Considering Maurice’s wife was an exceptionally plain woman, there were a good many ripostes Charlie could have made, ripostes which might have been transparently insulting. Instead he had chosen to flatter.
I forgot that bit. I wish I could remember his words. ’ Very interesting Wexford thought. Far from being popular, Hatton had evidently had a host of enemies. He had spent less than an hour in the Dragon and during that time he had succeeded in needling at least four men. ‘You mentioned all the money Hatton used to flash around,’ he said. ’ ‘He always had wads of it,’ said Carter. ‘I’ve known him three years and he was always flush. But he’d had more lately. ’ ‘I didn’t count it, you know,’ Carter said with asperity.
Someone bashed him on the back of the head with a heavy smooth object. I’d say he was dead by eleven but it’s impossible to be accurate about these things. ’ ‘He was a lorry driver,’ said Burden. ‘I thought that’s what you said. ’ said Wexford. ’ Rather ruefully he ran his tongue over the two stumps that held in place his upper plate. ’ ‘Sure,’ said Crocker, ‘he ought to have had his own being a war baby and a cog in the welfare state. The point is he didn’t. What I meant was he’d got just about the finest set of false teeth I’ve ever seen.