Deeds of Trust

Victor Wuamett, Author
Victor Wuamett, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-05413-7
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
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Miss Marple, Father Brown, Rabbi David Small, Lord Peter Wimsey and many others all convince us that they're brainy amateur detectives, but San Jose, Calif., real estate agent Chase Randel (who made his debut in Teardown ) lacks the requisite charm and wit. In this dull, often ungrammatical novel, the goatish, pontificating Randel is asked by Frank Baker, a retired chemistry teacher and school superintendent, to investigate a possible swindle by a syndicate that sold him and his wife 36 unprofitable condominium units. Within hours Baker falls eight stories to his death. After five more deaths and a number of sexual adventures, it dawns on Randel that what's going on is a four-cornered scam in which each participant has his or her own motives. Clues revealed much too late leave the reader feeling cheated. (Apr.)