The Drowning Pool

Natasha Cooper, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-312-15130-0
Despite the vulnerability she bestows on romance writer Willow King, the glamorous amateur sleuth last seen in Rotten Apples, Cooper's latest is a ho-hum whodunit. At 44, Willow has quite an ordeal giving birth to her first child. Hours after her daughter, Lucinda, is born, Willow hears that her obstetrician, Alexander Ringstead, has been found dead in the birthing pool just down the hallway. Sleuthing instincts battle with new motherhood as Willow deals with postpartum depression while doggedly determined to solve the crime. Dragging on like Willow's labor, the tale encompasses the past and present lovers of Ringstead, a feminist group protesting hospital policies and the unpleasant political currents of the hospital itself. Willow's eventual run-in with the murderer-in which she proves that a cornered mother is dangerous indeed-is utterly improbable. Only an afternoon charity bridge game, with its entertaining cast of wealthy, bored women, provides a welcome distraction from Willow's fretting over the confines of motherhood. Willow, supported here by her devoted housekeeper, Mrs. Rusham, and her doting husband, Scotland Yard detective Tom Worth, loses some of her charm in this disappointing episode. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/03/1997
Release date: 03/01/1997
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