The Christening Day Murder

Lee Harris, Author Fawcett Books $6.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-449-14871-6
Ex-nun Christine Bennett makes her third foray into amateur sleuthing in a tale that will delight fans of the American ``cozy.'' Thirty years ago, the inhabitants of Studsburg, N.Y., all relocated when the town was flooded to create a reservoir. But drought has left the small town temporarily high and dry, and while visiting her childhood friend, Maddie Stifler, Chris pokes about and discovers the remains of a young woman hidden in the Catholic church. Disturbed by the local police's indifference to the fate of the unidentified woman, Chris begins making a few inquiries among former residents who still live nearby. Ex-residents make the town sound like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life but some balk at Chris's probing questions: is it because time gives memories a rosy tint, Chris wonders, or because old friends are closing ranks to protect one of their own? Although Chris's significant other, NYPD Sgt. Jack Brooks, lends a bit of practical assistance, Chris's own doggedness and her ability to zero in on suspicious discrepancies lead her to success along a trail that Harris ( The Good Friday Murder ) sprinkles with surprises up to the very end. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993
Release date: 09/01/1993
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