Minette Walters, The Scold’s Bridle (St. Martin’s, 1993)
[originally posted 11Oct2000]
A woman is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, with a medieval torture device strapped to her head, a garland of flowers straight out of Shakespeare wrapped around it. Did she commit suicide, or did she have help?
Sounds like the basis for a bang-up mystery, no? Combine with one of today’s hottest mystery writers, Minette Walters, and you have a surefire recipe for success. And yet, something doesn’t quite gel. I’m not sure what it is, really, but The Scold’s Bridle lacks the twists and turns of The Breaker, the wicked humor of The Ice House, and the subtlety of The Sculptress. While it’s still a decent mystery and keeps the pages turning, it seems a cut below average for Walters. ***