Murder by Tarot

Al Guthrie, Author, A. Guthrie, Author Zebra $3.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8217-3637-1
Guthrie ( Grave Murder ) juggles a complex plot in this new whodunit. Abby McKenzie is about to open a small arts and crafts p. 2 store, and her husband Mac is considering retirement from the private eye business when trouble arrives in the form of a crooked building inspector and a nine-year-old girl looking for her lost dog. These apparently pk disparate entities force the detective duo to investigate the town's crooked mayor, who soon turns up with a knife in his back. Along the way we meet an ambitious collection of characters--a former OSS assassin who thinks he's a warlock, a street-smart fortune-teller, the building inspector's scheming wife and the mayor's embittered one and a village politico. Yet despite the author's ability to present amusing personalities and occasionally crackling repartee, this tale never quite gels. Part of the problem is pacing: the first of two murders doesn't take place until page 120. The final two-thirds of the book moves quickly, but just when Guthrie seems to reach his stride, the final deduction proves underwhelmingly ordinary, especially compared to the red herrings that precede it. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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