Robber's Wine: A Jane Lawless Mystery

Ellen Hart, Author, Babe Hart, Author Seal Press (CA) $21.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-878067-80-7
As Minnesota restaurant owner Jane Lawless begins her vacation, the murder of a friend's mother sidetracks her in this seventh in the series (Faint Praise). Heading north on vacation, Jane and her friend Cordelia Thorne, take another friend, Anne Dumont, to her mother Belle's house where an urgent family meeting has been called. But when they arrive, Belle's lover, Helvi, says that Belle is missing. As Jane helps search for Belle, Anne's sister and brother arrive. The next morning, Belle's body is found at the foot of an incline. Jane finds Belle's purse with a note inside from Quinn Fosh, the town ne'er-do-well, saying he knows a secret about one of her children. Soon after Jane learns that Quinn was Belle's unacknowledged half-brother, he is killed at a Fourth of July fireworks display. Who is responsible for the deaths and why? The brother, whose political ambitions overshadow his judgment? The abused sister, who is running from her crazed husband? Or stolid Anne, who needs her mother's money to survive? Finding suspects in this transparent mystery among the children of a wealthy small-town family, Lambda-winner and former chef Hart tackles personal ambition, marital relationships and women's roles yesterday and today. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1996
Release date: 07/01/1996
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