KALEIDOSCOPE: A Countess Karitska Novel

Dorothy Gilman, Author . Ballantine $21 (256p) ISBN 978-0-345-44820-0

Fans of Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax series will welcome this tantalizing sequel to The Clairvoyant Countess (1975), whose psychic heroine is adept at psychometry, "the faculty of divining knowledge about an object or a person connected with it through contact with the object." Here Madame Karitska and her friend on the Trafton police force, Detective Lieutenant Pruden, share a series of adventures in which they confront the heartless killer of a talented young violinist, save a deaf-mute child from the accusations of her supposed benefactress, help a spoiled heiress find a purpose in life and assist a timid artist to gain confidence and fame. A travel writer suffering from a mysterious illness, a beautiful little boy who can't speak and, finally, Roger Gillespie, an intelligence officer on the trail of a rogue genius who plans doomsday from his headquarters at an electronics company in Maine—all bring their pains and problems to Madame Karitska's shabby brownstone, where they find not only solace and solutions but frequently soul mates among her other clients. One wonders if the author herself is psychic, for the mad scientist's plan to bring the world to a halt bears an uncanny resemblance to the unfolding terror of the past few months. Hopefully, Gilman won't wait another quarter century before she brings back Madame Karitska, if nothing else to explain the sudden, rather stingy ending of this fascinating, kaleidoscopic potpourri. (Jan. 2)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2001
Release date: 01/01/2002
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