Death Pays the Rose Rent: A Tori Miracle Mystery

Valerie S. Malmont, Author Simon & Schuster $19.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-86967-0
This disjointed debut dabbles in the paranormal, probing the social life--and underground tunnels--linking the shops and houses in a Pennsylvania hamlet. After losing her newspaper job, spunky Tori Miracle, a New York City writer, accepts an invitation to visit her former college roommate in Lickin Creek, Pa. She learns that Alice-Ann is planning to divorce Richard, her philandering husband whose ancestors founded the town and who is this year's recipient of the annual Rose Rent, a tribute paid by the three religious congregations to the founder's current heirs. But before the celebration, and after a seance meant to determine the whereabouts of a legendary blue diamond, Richard's murdered body is discovered, a rose decorating his chest. Then a prominent judge's body is also found, a second rose in his hand. Meanwhile, Tori makes friends with the heirs of another of Lickin Creek's first families and the local police chief. When Alice-Ann becomes prime suspect in the murder investigation, Tori must find the real murderer to save her friend. What she discovers in her search is a machine for talking to spirits invented by Thomas Edison and a jumbled mass of motives for the killings. The elements never quite mesh in this high-spirited effort. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-440-22628-4
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