Fete Worse Than Death

Joyce Christmas, Author Fawcett Books $4.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-449-14665-1
Before seductive, social-climbing Emma, Lady (as she calls herself) Ross is found strangled to death during a soiree in her apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, she charms, cheats and manipulates her equally conniving business associates and society chums, including the supposed archduke with whom she shares her flat. Christmas ( Simply to Die For ) centers her story around the investigative efforts of the cynical, sometimes witty Margaret Priam, a genuine English aristocrat whose friendship with Ross and presence at her party seemingly place Priam in an advantageous position for sleuthing. Priam pokes her genteel nose into places where it doesn't belong, recruits unlikely helpers and argues with her shadowy police detective lover about her involvement in the case. Meanwhile, Ross's business pals make disreputable real-estate deals and threaten those who interfere. Unfortunately, this slow-paced whodunit has neither the suspense nor the stylistic punch to hold readers' attention. Christmas also skimps on character development and ends her tale without satisfactorily explaining the killer's motive. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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