One Fell Sloop

Susan Kenney, Author Viking Books $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-670-83537-9
In her third appearance, literature professor Roz Howard sails the Maine coast with her Scottish lover, Renaissance man Alan Stewart. After a falling out over Alan's arrogant ways, the sleuthing pair ( Graves of Academe ) discovers a corpse on an uninhabited island and unites against unknown common enemies. While tracking down those who might benefit from the death of the victim, an environmentalist who owned the island, Roz and Alan follow up on possible pirate treasure and condominium development. Latin phrases and etymological confusion complicate their detective work and keep them from cottoning to clues as quickly as readers. Schooners, ketches and other sailing craft are central to the oft-becalmed plot that, like Roz's putative feminist inclinations, moves sluggishly. Her valiant rescue of Alan near the resolution is an admirable act, at variance with her anguish over her well-founded anger and her wimpy wondering throughout about what Alan was going to tell her just before the fight. She doesn't ask him until the penultimate page, and by then it's too late for us to care. Kenney wrote Sailing. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-14-015406-1
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