The Right Moves

Anita Zelman, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-312-01812-2
Wooden characterization, cliched writing and inept plotting mark this debut featuring a top-ranked chess player, Linda, who is the first woman to represent the U.S. at an international chess match. The contestantsRussians, Brazilians, Israelis and othersare gathered on the Caribbean island of St. Swillens, along with their spouses, coaches and onlookers. Among the hangers-on are Debs and Calvin, who have a contract to write a quickie book on the tournament. Also present are Debs's best friend Alethea and her husband Stan, wealthy Angelenos who are Linda's patrons. Members of a cult dressed in purple and a pair of honeymooning preppies, Bipsey and Billy Olive, also clutter up the resort where the match is taking place. A jewel robbery and the murder of Linda's chief adviser add complications to a situation already made tense by eccentric and demanding chess masters. The police, in the person of Lt. Murdock, appear to be intent on hushing up the crimes to avoid international difficulties. Finding herself a suspect in both cases, Debs sets out to solve them with the aid of Calvin, who keeps pressing his attentions on her. Zelman's characters are such ciphers that she doesn't even dignify them with surnames. Nothing in this mystery comes close to the excitement of a fine game of chess. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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