Murder Without Reservation

Bernie Lee, Author, Bernie Lee, Other Dutton Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55611-184-6
Amateur sleuths Tony and Pat Pratt, last seen in Murder at Musket Beach , return to head off ostensible racism in Lee's unengaging second effort. A mystery writer employed as a troubleshooter for a Japanese film crew on location in Oregon, Tony overhears cowboy JayDee Hampton threatening one of the actors, Dennis Shimada. Hampton and his partners, Win and Grandpa Miller, own the ranch where a Japanese version of Little House on the Prairie is being filmed, and all three, it seems, hate Asians. A bag of rattlesnakes placed in the Pratts' hotel room suggests that their relationship with the Japanese may have offended someone. But because Tony had just switched rooms with Shimada, he cannot be sure that the reptiles were meant for him. Nor is the target evident when, during the filming of a stampede, a horse is shot out from under JayDee. Other disasters--and two deaths--occur in close succession. Unfortunately, however, all the characters' motives are made clear early on, and by process of elimination we can guess at the identity of the real villain, introduced late in the story but foreshadowed in heavy-handed fashion. The resolution is workmanlike and offers no surprises. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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