MEDORA SALE brings the homicide inspector John Sanders and the architectural photographer Harriet Jeffries out for another adventure in Pursued by Shadows (Maxwell Macmillan, 256 pages, $25.95 cloth). The book has two centres of attention: the detecting efforts of Harriet and John, and the theft-fraud-murder plot involving Harriet's former assistant, Jane Sinclair. As the story opens, Jane, who years ago absconded to England with Harriet's live-in boyfriend, the painter Guy Beaumont, has returned to Toronto, hotly pursued by someone bent on getting a document back from her. She doesn't know what this document is, but she does know it is valuable; she has taken it from Guy as recompense for money owed and services rendered. But Guy turns up dead in Harriet's living-room, John seems implicated in his death, Jane hides out in upstate New York, and Guy's Toronto dealer tells lies. Jane meets a simpatico carpenter, the dealer's lover and her two sons are not what they seem, and Jane calls upon her emotionally unstable sister, Lesley, to save the day. Jane also calls upon Harriet, who, with John, tries to catch up to Jane, find out what the document is, and figure out who is trying to get it and why.
The story of the stolen document is interesting and original, but the lacklustre romance between Harriet and John mutes the excitement, as do all the subplots and secondary characters. Dark Secrets From The Past finally resolve everything, whereupon Pursued by Shadows ends in just deserts for the villains, domestic bliss for Harriet and John as well as Jane and her carpenter, and a definite let-down for the reader.