A Killing in Real Estate

Frank Orenstein, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-312-02596-0
This easy-going and good-humored mystery slowly unfolds in the tranquil and historic town of Appleboro, N.Y., on its way to becoming a rural slum because of the greed and incompetence of Carl Van Houten, controversial and inept developer. Longtime farmer Jason Belding was reluctant to make a deal with Van Houten. When Jason's body is found with its skull crushed, the ensuing inquiry by local police reveals that virtually every resident of Appleboro stood to gain or lose financially by the development of the Belding property. Chief Investigator Hugh Morrison enlists the aid of town busybody Harriet Lorimer, but the investigation becomes further complicated when it is discovered that Lorimer is the sole trustee of the Belding land. The town's clannish and gossipy citizens pursue their own leads and intensify their activities when yet another murder is committed. Orenstein ( Paradise of Death ) relies on the droll antics of his characters to keep the plot moving; yet the mystery, while secondary, is still intriguing and tightly controlled. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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