No Harm

Wendy Hornsby, Author Dodd Mead $0 (256p) ISBN 978-0-396-09084-7
This tightly controlled first mystery novel is set in the California oceanside town of Santa Angelica, where the mugging death of wealthy widow Margaret Byrd sets off shock waves that reach to the highest level of the city's bureaucracy. Part of Margaret's estate, an invaluable and as yet undeveloped stretch of beachfront, now reverts to her daughter Kate, an outspoken professor of history who feels that her mother's death was not a random killing but a pemeditated murder by a member of Kate's own eccentric family, who covet the highly desirable property. When an attempt is made on Kate's life, she intensifies her investigations (aided by charmingly protective Lieutenant Roger Tejeda) and reveals a whole closetful of family skeletons, including an imprisonment for stock market swindles, abortions ending in death and strong evidence of one or more illegitimate offspring who may now be trying to claim their inheritance. A rich jumble of well-defined relatives helps search for the killer, including elderly but stalwart Uncle Dolph and Aunt Mina, who reveal vital keys to elusive family history. Meanwhile, Esperanza, the staunchly loyal family maid, does her best to conceal everything. And Kate's ex-husband Carl, a shrewd attorney, lends an appropriately sinister note. Only the melodramatic ending mars this fine novel. Troll Book Club selection. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 246 pages - 978-1-4804-8016-2
Ebook - 258 pages - 978-1-4532-2933-0
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-1-4532-3679-6
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 258 pages - 978-1-4804-1588-1
Ebook - 139 pages - 978-1-78408-564-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-1498-4
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