Miss Zukas and the Raven's Dance

Jo Dereske, Author Avon Books $5.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-380-78243-7
Librarian Wilhelmina ""Helma"" Zukas confronts murder in Bellehaven, Wash., where interminable rain is a running gag as well as an appropriate background to her fitful romance with the chief of police. In her fourth adventure, Helma's New Age boss manipulates her into completing the catalogue at a wealthy eccentric's Native American cultural center when the prior cataloguer (whose sleazy past includes lack of proper library certification) is found dead in a bathroom stall. Despite a contrived finale in which Helma temporarily steps out of character, readers will gladly suspend disbelief because of her unwavering integrity. Helma's investigation seems secondary to Dereske's (Miss Zukas and the Library Murders) gentle chiding of the library world with true-to-life dialogue and personnel. Consistently straightforward, no-nonsense prose is a welcome bonus in this cozy. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1996
Release date: 12/01/1996
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