Murder at Musket Bea

Bernie Lee, Author, Bernie Lee, Other
Bernie Lee, Author, Bernie Lee, Other Dutton Books $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-171-6
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
This rather tepid novel launches a mystery series featuring a middle-aged couple, freelance writer Tony Pratt and his wife Pat, a financial consultant. Summering at Musket Beach on the Oregon Coast, they discover the body of Carl Conley, the town mayor, who is also a realtor, in partnership with his wife Carole. The Pratts ignore warnings from Officer Barrett, the only policeman in the community, and investigate the murder in a kibbitzing, amateur fashion. While Tony goes to L.A. to meet clients for whom he's writing TV commercials, Pat daringly trails various suspects: the sexy widow Carole; her lover, an actor whose gelatinous tones earn him huge fees for advertising voice-overs; and Martin Ross, Musket Beach's biggest booster, anxious to cover up news of the killing that could diminish the tourist trade. Though the premise is promising, Lee fails to escalate the novel's momentum and the story is over before it generates suspense. Strained witticisms further impede the narrative. The resort's atmosphere and color are the book's main attractions, but are not enough to sustain the reader's attention. (Apr.)
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