A Secret Singing

Richard C. Smith, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-453-00581-4
Making his debut as a private operative based in Boston, James Mallory can't compete with old-timers in the genre. Smith's story is derivative and, as recounted by the detective, hard to believe. Morgan Streeter hires Mallory to check on Susan Winston who's living with Caleb Johnson, Morgan's stepfather. The detective's role expands to investigating murder when Johnson dies at his country club after drinking cyanide-laced scotch. At that point, Mallory meets and falls for Susan, a suspect once it's revealed that she secretly had been married to the victim. Ensuing events propel the detective to search the Street family records, find hints that Morgan's late husband wasn't the father of her daughter and other evidence of hanky-panky. The ending leaves the impression that the author has the talent to create more appealing entertainments, when he gains experience. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
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