Ron Benrey, Author, Janet Benrey, Joint Author . Broadman & Holman $12.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8054-2558-1

One of evangelical Christian fiction's most delightful mystery protagonists returns to sleuthing in this sequel to Little White Lies, and while the story may lack the freshness and punch of its predecessor, it offers an entertaining read. Pippa Hunnechurch, 37, is a transplanted Brit with a penchant for getting mixed up with murder. Her executive recruiting business in the town of Ryde, Md., runs smoothly until her latest lucrative placement, red-haired plastics techie Barry Goodwin, ends up seemingly committing suicide. The e-mailed suicide note with Barry's signature blames Pippa for his despair, and ultimately his demise. In the wake of his death, Pippa becomes a persona non grata; her business tanks, and even her buddy, Ryde Reporter journalist David Friendly, launches a hostile investigative exposé. Pippa gets moral support from her associate, blonde knockout Gloria Spitz, who packs a Walther PPK automatic as well as a complete make-up kit; she adeptly assists Pippa in everything from setting up appointments to picking locks. The Benreys' first-person narrative is awash in heavy passages of sometimes formal dialogue, overused parentheses, British lingo and numerous "cuppas" (of tea). There are some genuinely humorous moments (Gloria tries a Marmite sandwich for the first time) and some too cute scenes the authors should have resisted (as when Pippa "freezes" when she takes out the ice cube tray). However, Pippa's ongoing romance with international marketing consultant James Huston, a drawling Southern gentleman, provides some agreeable moments, and the end result is a light, fun murder mystery for the CBA market. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/19/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
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