Little Black Book of Murder: A Blackbird Sisters Mystery

Nancy Martin. Obsidian, $23.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-41525-7
Martin’s enjoyable ninth Blackbird Sisters mystery (after 2012’s No Way to Kill a Lady) finds Libby pushing her 13-year-old twins, Harcourt and Hilton, into an acting career; Emma pumping milk for the baby she gave up to her lover and his wife; and Nora trying to maintain her job as society reporter at the Philadelphia Intelligencer. Nora attends a party hosted by wealthy Swain Starr and his new wife, Zephyr, at his state-of-the-art farm, where Swain’s first wife, Marybeth, pokes an antique musket at him and yells about a prize pig. Later, Nora discovers Swain dead in his barn. Nora is torn between her boss’s urging to use her connections to scoop the police on the story; protecting her nephew Rawlins, whose keys she found near the body; and worrying about pet pig Ralphie, who’s at risk from Marybeth’s chef brother. Despite the large cast, Martin keeps the story tight as she smoothly weaves together Blackbird and Starr family dramas. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 08/06/2013
Mass Market Paperbound - 401 pages - 978-0-451-41526-4
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