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Ashes to Ashes
Ashes to Ashes
Author: Emma Lathen
ISBN: 58337
Pages: 224

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Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback
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reviewed Ashes to Ashes on + 3 more book reviews
Lathen's books feature neither graphic sex nor gratuitous details of violence.
Ashes to Ashes was published in the seventies. The Sloane Trust, the bank featured in all of Lathen's mysteries (so far as I know) is backing up the mortgage for the purchase of a Catholic school that's being closed because of lack of funds. A parents' group organizes to oppose the sale. Members of the parish take sides, members of the clergy have their varying reactions, tempers flare, confusion ensues, the head of the parents' group is murdered and the parish gets more publicity than anybody bargained for.

There is a very funny scene where a couple pro-birth control groups descend on the parish to 'support' the parents' group even though none of them want the group there. With a deft and restrained hand, Lathen skewers the sort of do-gooders who want to do good by piggy backing on somebody else's turf and cause for publicity and want to do good by imposing their views of what's good for you on everybody else.

Naturally, since it is a mystery, John Thatcher of the Sloane helps untangle the mess behind murder most foul.

If you're ever stuck in the airport without something to read, if you can find a Lathen title on the shelf of the bookstore it's a safe read