Let's Face the Music and Die: A Lauren Laurano Mystery

Sandra Scoppettone, Author Little Brown and Company $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-77664-6
Hangin' with Lauren would make an apt subtitle for Scoppettone's (My Sweet Untraceable You) latest engaging entry in her series starring Manhattan PI Lauren Laurano. The central tension in this tale occurs mainly in Lauren's personal life, and many of the story's pleasures lie in what we learn about this heroine's life as hunter (tracking a murderer), as hunted (tracked by a horror from her past) and as lover (uneasily straying from monogamy's narrow straits). Lauren's friend Elissa is the prime suspect in the stabbing death of her widowed aunt, Ruth Cohen. Police like the fact that Elissa inherits Ruthie's millions. If she's the murderer or she herself dies in the very near future, the money goes to a mysterious cousin whom neither Elissa nor Ruthie had ever met. Lauren is distracted in her investigation by her faltering long-term relationship with her lesbian lover, Kip Adams, and by the lures of another woman. She must also cope with the immediate dangers posed by Charlie West, who raped and left her for dead years ago. Now out of prison, Charlie lets Lauren know-by phoning, e-mailing her and trashing her office-that he's back to repeat, and this time finish, the job. Madman Charlie raises the suspense marginally (does anyone imagine he'll succeed?), but Scoppettone fans will most appreciate the chance to know game and complex Lauren better; a deft touch is the closing cliffhanger as Kip surprises Lauren in an awkward moment. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1996
Release date: 06/01/1996
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