Nothing But Gossip

Marne Davis Kellogg, Author Doubleday Books $21.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-385-48860-0
Kellogg loads her novels with gyrating plots. In this fourth mystery (after Tramp, 1997) about PI/heiress/U.S. marshal Lilly Bennett, of Roundup, Wyo., she involves Lilly in a murder investigation even as our heroine is readying to marry rich and handsome Richard Jerome, manager of the Roundup Opera. The murder victim is millionairess Alma Rutherford Gilhooly, who was so obnoxious that Lilly, who narrates, can't decide whether the person who shot her dead was an angry relative, a scorned lover or an irate business associate. The suspect list includes Alma's half-sister, with whom Alma was locked in a proxy fight for the family oil business; Alma's browbeaten husband; a group of Russian oilmen; and a string of present and former lovers who depended on the dead woman's pocketbook. In a humorous subplot, the picture-perfect Western hamlet where Lilly has her office is invaded by Robert Redford and his movie company, who are filming ""a socially conscious, politically correct, old-time Western about cowboys who treated women as equals and believed that no meant no."" Kellogg's characters are larger than life, with huge incomes, egos and libidos. The plot moves swiftly as Lilly zooms around in private planes, helicopters and assorted land vehicles. The killer attempts three more murders before Lilly nails him at a funeral, the pair battling on top of a rose-covered casket--leaving Lilly just enough time to marry Richard in a fairy-tale ceremony, Wyoming style. It's a delightful windup to an entertainment that never flags. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 288 pages - 978-0-553-58046-4
Open Ebook - 156 pages - 978-0-307-80827-1
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