Little Creatures Everywhere

Mary Bringle, Author Doubleday Books $14.95 (183p) ISBN 978-0-385-41358-9
The theme of newcomers-vs.-oldtimers is rehashed in this low-key, heavy-handed mystery. New York book editor Laura McAuley is taking a restful vacation in a small town in the Pacific Northwest, staying at the Grey Whale Hotel, an inn recently purchased by her friend Claudia and inhabited only by its constantly writing caretaker, Jesse Paget. She encounters strange townsfolk, among them the Grey Whale's hypochondriac former owner, her hairdresser husband, a threatening ``oyster cowboy'' and a rabid environmentalist, all of whom want to prevent the inn's reopening. As a friendly gesture to this community, Claudia and her husband fly in to host a party, but Claudia winds up dead in the linen closet. Though local police declare her death an accident, Laura and Jesse are suspicious and, indeed, an improbable killer is made known, though not as a result of their sleuthing efforts. Overall, Bringle doesn't take advantage of her eccentric characters and leaves too many loose ends, including the biggest mystery of all: Just what has Jesse been writing? (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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