cover image Mortal Friends

Mortal Friends

Jane Stanton Hitchcock, . . Harper, $25.99 (334pp) ISBN 978-0-06-117370-7

In bestseller Hitchcock's whirling and suspenseful comedy of manners, gauche, aggressive Cynthia Rinehart, a self-made millionairess, explodes onto the philanthropy scene and the grand dames of old money Washington collectively clutch their husbands. Meanwhile, the Beltway Basher, suspected to be a member of the D.C. elite, continues to bump off young brunettes. Reven Lynch, an unmarried antique-shop owner, is tapped to play society informant, perhaps because her love interest, notorious playboy (and the D.C. version of Sex and the City 's “Mr. Big”) Bob Poll, is also a person of interest in the case. Gossip, manipulation and infidelity all happen behind Washington's velvet curtain, and it's the stuff of high school, but with higher—nay, deadlier—stakes. And among the backbiting, Hitchcock (Social Crimes ) manages to stew a convincing homicide plot, peppered with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing, and guessing again, to the novel's neat finish. (Aug.)