Murder at the PTA Luncheon

Valerie Wolzien, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (246p) ISBN 978-0-312-01480-3
Two attractive but floundering detectives are pitted against a cabal of wealthy and devious suburban housewives in this uneven first novel set in affluent Hancock, Conn. State police detectives Brett Fortesque and Kathleen Somerville step in to aid the curiously inept local force in investigating the cyanide poisoning of two mainstays of the Hancock Elementary School PTA, Paula Porter and Jan Ick. Jan dies while eating the last canape on a tray at the annual PTA luncheon; Paula is poisoned while sipping iced tea at the local swim club. Under interrogation, Susan Henshaw, an eyewitness to Jan's death but a naive observer of the Hancock socio-economic scene, portrays a community composed of able, dedicated and selfless women working hard to raise money for their school. Other mothers, however, gradually reveal an unsavory aspect to life in the suburbs and a PTA dominated by byzantine political machinations. The solution to the mystery is labored and murky, lying beneath an endless lineup of parents and schoolteachers, most of them one-dimensional and unremarkable. A sputtering romance between the two detectives may or may not kindle. Despite its promising premise, the book does not rise above the ordinary. (February 23)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 240 pages - 978-0-449-14639-2
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