Drop Dead

Mark Richard Zubro, Author, Zubro, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-20532-4
Haute couture, love triangles, jealousy and corporate rivalries fuel this simplistic but entertaining fifth installment of Zubro's Paul Turner series (after The Truth Can Get You Killed). When Guinevere Inc.'s signature model, international fashion sensation Cullom Furyk, falls to his death from the penthouse of one of Chicago's most exclusive hotels, police detective Paul Turner and his partner, Buck Fenwick, are put on the case. Cullom had been attending a party celebrating an informal merger between rival fashion houses Guinevere Inc. and Heyling & Veleshki. Turner's interrogation of the guests quickly reveals that the merger was far from a match made in heaven. Guinevere's president, Franklin Munsen, and the young upstart couple Gerald Veleshki and Roger Heyling had been rumored to employ vicious subterfuge to undermine each other's companies. Cullom had been crucial to Guinevere Inc.'s success, and it was no secret among the glitterati that Heyling & Veleshki would have done anything to get their hands on Cullom's moneymaking body. Turner and Fenwick also turn up hints from several sources in the fashion industry about Cullom's reputation as a sexual athlete who had few close friends but lots of gay lovers. The catty, ever-shifting alliances of haute couture don't make it easy for honest joes Turner and Fenwick to pin down a suspect. The sardonic, earthy Fenwick plays a straight bad cop well to Paul Turner's sensitive, gay good cop as the two pick their way through the events and scene-makers gathered in Chicago for a major fashion convention. With pithy dialogue, Zubro solidly crafts the cops' camaraderie. The other characters, however, are not so fortunate; their speech often seems forced or robotic. While the murder trail leads to an only mildly suspenseful ending, Turner in particular is attractive enough to make this lightweight mystery worth reading. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4668-0564-4
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-312-26314-0
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