King of Hearts: A Cassandra Swann Bridge Mystery

Susan Moody, Author
Susan Moody, Author Scribner Book Company $21 (320p) ISBN 978-0-684-80258-9
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 298 pages - 978-0-425-15725-1
Paperback - 313 pages - 978-1-4767-9072-5
Hardcover - 978-1-85903-230-5
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In her third appearance, following Take-Out Double, British bridge expert and amateur sleuth Cassandra Swann pursues an investigation that hits very close to home. Discouraged by her failure at dieting and uncertain of her relationship with police officer Paul Walsh, Cassandra continues to conduct evening bridge classes at a nearby school. There the enrollment of an Indian couple, the Drs. Sammi and Vida Ray, captures the interest of Cassandra and a friend, who come to suspect Vida is being physically abused. Meanwhile, a horse named Handsome Harry comes in third in the Grand National. When Cassandra was a young girl, her pub-owner father, called Handsome Harry, had been fatally stabbed in a brawl and the person responsible never identified. Cassandra learns that the owner of the horse had been one of her father's female companions; her curiosity and sense of loss reawakened, she begins to investigate the death of her father, known also as the King of Hearts. Moody offers a vibrant cross section of English social strata in such characters as coarse-mannered Charlie Quartermain, Cassandra's ardent admirer, and country gentlewoman Brigid Fraser, who uses phrases like NOSD (``not our sort, dear''). References to the game of bridge are few, but Moody's characterization is utterly winning and her story's conclusion a sure slam. (Feb.)
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