The Baxter Trust

J. P. Hailey, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-55611-090-0
Crime reporter Hailey marks his debut as a novelist with this smart, agreeable mystery starring shaggy-haired ex-actor and starving New York lawyer Steve Winslow. Orphaned heiress to a multimillion-dollar fortune, pretty, perky Sheila Benton drops off her boyfriend at the airport; he is on the way to Reno to divorce his wife. Later, she visits the trustee of her estate, her proper, wealthy uncle Maxwell Baxter, who keeps her strictly within the trust fund's stingy $200 a month allowance, and begs a few extra dollars. She returns from his sumptuous apartment to her pad and a grim discoverythe corpse of a stranger, perhaps the man who recently phoned and tried to blackmail her. The district attorney indicts her. Instead of placing her fate in the hands of her domineering uncle, however, she thumbs the Yellow Pages and comes up with Winslow. There the fun begins. Hailey knows his down-and-out lawyer and his savvy justice-system authorities quite well. The likable Winslow proves a clever, thorough investigator and an entertaining trial lawyer. There are byzantine plot twists and shifting suspects here, but, despite the complexity, Hailey brings his plot strands together with finesse. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55802-404-5
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