All the Muscle You Need: An Eliza Pirex Mystery

Diana McRae, Author Aunt Lute Books $8.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-933216-59-4
First-novelist McRae gives her detective-heroine, Eliza Pirex, both dignity and savvy, and her first-person narrative unfolds an intricate story deftly and slowly. Eileen Goldeen hires Pirex to locate Ruth Gold, a troubled old college friend who disappeared several years earlier. Eileen is also neurotic, and McRae successfully conveys the difficulties of communication between Eileen and Eliza, and the latter's satisfaction with resulting breakthroughs. Clues and motives are carefully revealed, then complicated by such developments as switched identities. Eliza's self-awareness makes her a more accessible character than Eileen, but the nuances of her (and her lesbian lover's) behavior are so closely and lengthily observed that they interrupt the rhythm of the inventive plot. Eliza's location of Ruth is unexpected and chilling, and her credible decision to honor Ruth's wish that her whereabouts not be disclosed raises this above the average mystery. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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