MURDER IN THE ROUGH

J. S. Borthwick, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-28829-7

Ph.D. and soon-to-be English professor Sarah Deane reluctantly returns to sleuthing in this assured contemporary cozy by veteran Borthwick (Coup de Grâce, etc.). Sarah's in-laws, Elspeth and John McKenzie, have left the academic world of Cambridge, Mass., to live in the new, perfectly planned and designed Maine community of Ocean Tide. With bike trails, golf course, pool, beach and a breathtaking view of Penobscot Bay, the place should be perfect for the couple, but John is having trouble adjusting. John's son, Alex, and Sarah hope that he'll eventually fit in, but his misgivings prove to be well founded. The discovery of a dead body (delicately depicted on the dust jacket with no traces of violence) on the pristine golf course is just the first in a series of catastrophic events that soon affect the whole family. Sarah, known for her past crime-solving experience, promises herself that she won't get involved in the investigation. As the family becomes more entangled, she remains resolute until circumstances lead her into personal danger. While the reader may be as frustrated as Sarah by her vow to remain aloof, her doing so helps us better understand the lovable, realistic McKenzie family. Their down-to-earth personalities provide a vivid contrast to the Disneyland-like community and its driven director and staff. From the fog that sometimes engulfs the land to the crystal clear Maine days, this novel will delight existing Borthwick fans and should attract new ones. (Mar. 25)

Reviewed on: 02/18/2002
Release date: 03/01/2002
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-312-98453-3
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