Una-Mary Parker, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-24949-8
Three-time novelist Parker ( Riches ) draws on her lifestyle as a member of the British peerage in this lightweight, easily digested tale of murder, romance and aristocratic angst. Young English socialite turned Las Vegas showgirl Marissa Montclare plunges to her death from the New York City penthouse of her lover, Sir Edward Wenlake, who is hosting a New Year's Eve party. Freelance photographer Rebecca Kendall develops a series of party photos that suggest foul play. When the police doubt her theory and her apartment is ransacked by someone seeking the negatives, Rebecca decides to solve the murder herself. Enlisting the aid of her boyfriend and agent, Stirling Hertfelder, she contacts Sir Edward's family, befriending his daughter and leading the reader on a melodramatic digression into the Wenlake family's problems. Some suspense is created as Rebecca receives threatening phone calls and is followed everywhere; she escapes on assignment to Europe, where her career flourishes and her personal life is marked by cloak-and-dagger incidents and her struggle to remain independent in the face of Stirling's overprotective instincts and insistence on marriage. The author's delayed revelations of some facts are annoying, and various convenient coincidences strain credibility, while the romantic ending comes as no surprise. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/1991
Release date: 02/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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