Justice for Some

Kate Wilhelm, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (260p) ISBN 978-0-312-09319-8
Heading for a family gathering at her father's home/water garden business in rural California, widowed Sarah Drexler anticipates a respite from her work as an Oregon state judge. Instead she finds her deductive skills challenged and the lives of those dearest to her threatened. Joining the tense family dinner is Fran Donatio, a woman whose presence Sarah's father Ralph does not explain. The next morning, after Ralph's body is pulled from a lily pond, police Lt. Arthur Fernandez arrives with questions on another matter: Fran, a PI, was shot not long after leaving the dinner, and it looks like the murderer ransacked her office and apartment. Sarah becomes decidedly snappish when the police suggest that her adult children, Winnie and Virgil, and Ralph's brother and nephew all had ample opportunity to search Fran's digs. When the judge turns sleuth, she learns that her loved ones harbor past and present secrets of which she had no inkling. That Sarah's investigation is first-rate is no surprise--the prolific Wilhelm ( Death Qualified ; Seven Kinds of Death) is also accomplished. This tale, however, offers a bonus in Fernandez who, running his own, equally intelligent investigation in the background, provides a welcome change from the expected solitary-sleuth plot structure. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
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