Scandal in Fair Haven

Carolyn Hart, Author Bantam Books $19.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-553-09465-7
Agatha Award-winning Hart takes her retired Missouri newspaperwoman, Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins, introduced in Dead Man's Island, to Tennessee, where she becomes the honorary aunt of a young man accused of killing his wife. Henrie O is vacationing at the mountain cabin of her friend Margaret, who is recovering from heart surgery, when Margaret's nephew, Craig Matthews, arrives distraught and bloodied. As he tells of having found his kitchen demolished and his wife Patty Kay murdered, Henrie O realizes that the weak-willed, perhaps devious, Craig has set himself up as the killer by running from the scene. As a favor to Margaret, she decides to investigate. In ritzy Fair Haven, near Nashville, Henrie discovers that the murdered woman had been a vibrant, forceful figure in town, a teacher and trustee at a posh private school (where a teenage girl recently committed suicide) and the owner of a bookstore where her friends worked as a sideline to their social pursuits. Gradually connecting the student's suicide to Patty Kay's death, Henrie also learns that each of the woman's friends has a motive for murder. From the first pages to the climax, where she uses a cannister of Mace to save herself from a murderer, Hart's widowed sleuth is a heroine of admirable courage and wit. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1994
Release date: 08/01/1994
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