Author: Brian Daley
Publisher: Ballantine 30352
Cover Price: $2.75
Condition: Very good plus. Light wear. Spine crease.
Genre: Science Fiction
Oddball cases are James Pibble’s specialty. But the brutal bludgeoning of the revered elder of a New Guinea tribesman may be his strangest yet.
The corpse, in striped pajamas, lies in the middle of a room completely absent of furniture. Seven women squat on the floorboards. One knits. Another sits cross-legged at his feet. They all chant incantations in a strange language. The murder weapon, a wooden balustrade ornament in the shape of an owl, could have been wielded by any of the myriad suspects Pibble meets at Flagg Terrace, the London residence where the Ku family currently lives. And the only clue seems to be an Edwardian penny.
So who killed bearded, four-foot-tall Aaron Ku? Everyone seems to have an alibi, including a local real estate agent, a professional escort, and an anthropologist whose marriage into the tribe was forbidden. In a house where men and women live in separate quarters, Pibble must follow a hierarchy of primitive rituals and gender-role reversals to unmask a surprising killer.