Casting for Murder

Mikel Dunham, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-312-06924-7
This energetic, often enthralling murder mystery set in the worlds of international art and high finance succeeds despite patches of pretentious dialogue and arch tone. New York art dealer Rhea Buerklin, first encountered in Stilled Life , is again drawn into violence when one of her top painters, Jodie Rivers, an unpleasant and disliked womanizer, is found strangled on the steps of the opera house of Venice. Despite warnings from her lover, Lt. John Tennyson of the NYPD, Rhea flies to Italy at the behest of Jodie's immensely wealthy estranged father, whom Jodie--who had betrayed almost everyone he knew in the weeks before his death--had been sponging off of, staying at the famed Gritti Palace hotel. Rhea steps up her investigation after the bullet-ridden body of model Lisa Morris, Jodie's current lover and the former girlfriend of his anxiety-ridden brother Henry, is discovered. Dunham develops an exotic setting and leavens his plot with interesting tidbits on global finance and intercontinental romance--ingredients sure to please readers who relish a vocabulary that includes such words as plangent , subvention and catechesis. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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