Baptism for the Dead

R. R. Irvine, Author Dodd Mead $15.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-396-09337-4
Set in Salt Lake City, this is the first mystery in a new series featuring pri vate detective Moroni Traveler Jr. As a non-LDS (Latter Day Saint), Moroni finds it both a blessing and a curse to be named for the angel that graces the top of the temple looming over Brigham Young's city. During a spring blizzard, a distressed young woman named Penny Snow retains Moroni to find her mother, whom she fears is dead. Moroni can't believe his luck when his boyhood friend Willis Tanner also solicits his services on the same day. But there's a catch: Willis is acting for the church and wants Moro ni to keep an eye on Penny, whose fa ther John Varney is on the Mormon Council of Seventy. Moroni is soon on the trail of murderor ``blood atone ment'' as an LDS would put itand heresy that leads to a violently satisfy ing conclusion. Along the way, there's a wealth of local color and church arca na that will be exotic fare to most ``gentiles.'' Irvine (Ratings Are Mur der, Footsteps, etc.) has a sure hand at interweaving plot and subplot, and a deft feel for characterization. His new protagonist is a likable addition to the long line of tough yet tender gumshoe. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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