Murder Once Done

Mary Lou Bennett, Author
Mary Lou Bennett, Author Perseverance Press $8.95 (195p) ISBN 978-0-9602676-7-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
This gritty tale, which steers clear of gratuitous or graphic violence in favor of suspense, conveys an ambience as old-fashioned as its main characters. Sharp-tongued, strong-willed Allison Moffitt, kindly, dainty Victoria Belle (""Plum'') Plumley and quiet, reserved Jane Browne are dear friends who, having outlived their husbands, move in together to enjoy peaceful, congenial times. The women, however, are set in their own ways, and the first few days as roommates are less than harmonious. The fragile calm is shattered by the arrival of Tommy Weed, a young, self-seeking hoodlum who intends to blackmail them with a dark secret from their past. Setting out to terrorize the trio, he transforms their idyllic house into a prison and preys upon their weaknesses. But he has not anticipated their feisty natures and soon is forced to expand his original extortion plan to include murder and kidnapping. The female protagonists' old-world charm is mirrored in the small, coastal Oregon town in which the story is set, and in the nosy villagers who begin to notice strange goings-on. The appeal of psychotherapist Bennett's first effort is slightly marred by the frustrating ineptitude of chief-of-police Chris Kirksey, and by several ill-conceived subplots that detract from the otherwise fast-paced action; but the characters are vividly portrayed and the tension palpable. (May)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!