Gaudi Afternoon

Barbara Wilson, Author, Barbara Sjoholm, Author Seal Press (CA) $10.95 (172p) ISBN 978-0-931188-89-3
As in The Dog Collar Murders , Wilson exploits the mystery genre to explore a feminist perspective on timely subjects--here, gender roles and child custody. This latest pk effort falters, largely because the story relies for its effect on characters with mixed-up identities and a penchant for lying. Professional translator Cassandra Reilly turns amateur sleuth when Frankie Stevens needs someone fluent in Spanish to accompany her to Barcelona to locate her estranged husband Ben, who has disappeared. However, Cassandra soon learns that very little is what it seems. Frankie and Ben aren't separated, they're divorced. Moreover, Ben (actually Bernadette) isn't an ex-husband, but an ex-wife: Frankie is a transsexual. The bone of contention between them is their daughter Delilah. Ben fled to Spain to escape the problems of their joint custody arrangement and because, now that Frankie is female, she wants to be Delilah's mother too. By the time the layers of deceit are revealed and Delilah has been kidnapped a few times, the child crawls off to get away from these people and have a nap--proving she's easily the brightest one of the lot. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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