School of Hard Knocks

Donna Huston Murray, Author St. Martin's Press $16.99 (292p) ISBN 978-0-312-96104-6
Ginger Barnes, last seen in The Main Line Is Murder, resumes her role as typical wife, mother, homemaker and unassuming sleuth as she investigates the criminal activity running rampant in her cul-de-sac in Philadelphia's Main Line. Items are stolen from garages and cars, houses are broken into and her good friend is bludgeoned to death during a robbery. Gin's grief is overshadowed by the uneasy sensation that something about the whole thing doesn't feel right. Snooping brings her to the gate of her next-door neighbor, Letty, an elderly eccentric living in squalor within the walls of her once grand mansion. When Letty becomes the next victim, Gin learns that someone has been slowly siphoning off the woman's trust fund and sets out to trap the crook. This is an easygoing cozy that is probably strictly for female readers, who will surely appreciate Murray's smart, often insightful first-person narrative and her coherent characters. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/17/1997
Release date: 02/01/1997
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