The Chairman of Kingsley Conglomerates is conducting negotiations, which are both difficult and somewhat dubious, in Morocco. He is accompanied by executive secretary Wendy Helmann. However, there are soon distractions when unorthodox Rita Geddes appears on the scene. Wendy discovers that there is much more at stake than the supposed negotiations, and finds herself at the centre of kidnappings, murder, and industrial espionage. Explosions, a car chase across the High Atlas out of Marrakesh and much more follows. Of course, the prior arrival of portrait painter Johnson Johnson is in many ways fortuitous, but he has some ghosts of his own to lay.
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Dorothy, Lady Dunnett, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1923, the only daughter of an engineer, Alexander Halliday, and his wife Dorothy. Whilst gifted academically and musically, she was not encouraged to further her talents by attending university, and instead joined the civil service in Scotland as an assistant press officer. In 1946, she married Alastair Dunnett, who was at the time the chief press officer to the Secretary of State for Scotland. He went on to become editor of The Scotsman newspaper, whilst she later worked on a statistics handbook for the Board of Trade. After a brief spell in Glasgow, the couple settled in Edinburgh where their home became a centre for hospitality and entertaining, mostly in support of Scottish art and culture. Dunnett had also taken evening classes at the Edinburgh College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art, and from 1950 onwards she established a prominent career as a portrait painter, being exhibited at both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. She was also an accomplished sculptress. Her interest in writing developed during the 1950's. Her own tastes took her to historical novels and it was her husband who eventually suggested she write one of her own, after she had complained of running out of reading material. The result was The Game of Kings, an account of political and military turmoil in sixteenth-century Scotland. Whilst turned down for publication in the UK, it was eventually published in the USA where it became an instant best seller. Other titles, such as the Lymond Chronicles and House of Niccolo series followed and which established her international reputation. She also successfully turned her hand to crime, with the Johnson Johnson series. He is an eccentric artist, famous for bifocals, and of course amateur detective. All of the titles in the series somehow also feature the yacht 'Dolly', despite ranging widely in location from Scotland, to Ibiza, Rome, Marrakesh, Canada, Yugoslavia, Madeira and The Bahamas. There is plenty of sailing lore for the enthusiast, but not so much it detracts from the stories genre; crime. Each of them is told by a woman whose profession explains her role in the mystery and we learn very little about Johnson himself, save for the fact he is somewhat dishevelled in appearance.Review:
Delicious: funny,ingenious, glamorous,clever.'
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