The Shade of Time Author:David Duncan Ten years after being convicted of the murder by arrow of John Harth, Sebastian Sand is pardoned and released from prison. John's sister always believed in Sebastian's innocence, and sets up a house party with all the people (mostly scientists and academic types) who were present during the fateful day ten years before. History repeats itself, a... more »nd Sebastian is once again the most obvious suspect.« less
The first 90% of this book, set in 1946, was a first rate golden age mystery: an impossible murder in a sealed room, a group of suspects gathered in one house for the duration of the investigation, a diagram holding a key to the solution, and a detective in the classic mold. Up until the denouement I thought this was going to rate 5 stars. But then it all fell apart. Not only was the solution pretty confusing, but the author shows remarkable insensitivity (even for 1946) by using a terrible homophobic reference. So I give it 4 stars for the majority of the writing and plotting, and 1 point for the ending.