Gonna Take a Homicidal Journey

Sandra Scoppettone, Author Little Brown and Company $22.45 (264p) ISBN 978-0-316-77665-3
PI Lauren Laurano (last seen in Let's Face the Music and Die) takes on the conventional notion that appearances can be deceiving in this snappily paced whodunit. She and her longtime girlfriend, Kip, leave Manhattan for a vacation on Long Island. They are ostensibly going to help friends renovate a new house, but they're really aiming to rehab their relationship, which is still in recovery from Lauren's recent affair. They arrive at the village of Seaview in the middle of a crime wave that would put their native Greenwich Village to shame. The body of Bill Moffat, a highly regarded local who was leading the fight to keep fast-food chains out of town, is found hanging from a tree branch. The police call it a suicide, but his cousin doesn't agree, especially since Moffat recently told her that he thought he was being followed. Hired to investigate and happy to get away from Kip, not to mention the home-improvement efforts, Lauren uncovers some highly dubious fatal accidents and begins to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose. Events and circumstances may strain credibility, but, as Scoppettone cannily reminds us, so do the venerable happenings in the Cabot Cove of Murder She Wrote and Miss Jane Marple's St. Mary Mead. While the scenes between Lauren and the annoying--and surprisingly undeveloped--Kip can slip into melodrama and the conclusion lacks a powerful punch, Lauren herself is, as always, excellent company. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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