cover image Hello, Stranger

Hello, Stranger

Virginia Swift, . . HarperCollins, $24.95 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-06-054333-4

Swift's fourth Mustang Sally mystery (after 2004's Bye, Bye Love ) sizzles with partisan politics, sexual attraction and murder. Sally Alder, a University of Wyoming women's studies professor, is shaken to learn that one of her female students, Charlie Preston, has been beaten up. Though Sally's unsure who's responsible, she knows that Charlie's dad, Brad Preston, has roughed up Charlie in the past. After coming to Sally for help, the girl disappears—and a few weeks later, papa Preston is found bludgeoned to death. Who killed Brad? Was it Charlie, or her boyfriend, out for revenge? Was it a local Democratic activist, horrified by the prospect that Brad—a right-wing zealot—planned to run for Congress? Also interested in the case is Dave Haggerty, a handsome single attorney, who's captivated by Sally. Despite her long-standing relationship with hunky Hawk Green, Sally finds herself enjoying Dave's attentions. Clearing Charlie's name, it turns out, will cause Sally to endanger her relationship with Hawk—and her life. This engrossing novel should win new readers to Swift's series. (Mar.)