All Dressed Up to Die

Robert Nordan, Author Fawcett Books $3.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-14576-0
Nordan ( Rituals ) sets his formula murder mystery in an atmospheric setting--a timeless, sleepy Southern town. Mavis Lashley, a priggish but well-meaning woman who lost her husband and only daughter years ago, is more of a snoop than she'd like to admit, and falls into the role of detective when her neighbor, Theda Hedrick, is murdered. During her impromptu investigations, Mavis uncovers the grisly, pathetic details of Theda's daughter's ostracism by the family and her subsequent mistreatment by a former religious guru, now father of her children; reveals a long-standing liaison of Theda's late husband; learns of Theda's own affair with a woman in the years following her husband's death; and, finally, confronts unsavory information about the local church that she has always revered. Although the plot is not innovative, it is sufficiently hair-raising; the characters are thoughtfully and thoroughly conceived. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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