cover image Cover-Up Story

Cover-Up Story

Marian Babson, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (191p) ISBN 978-0-312-02180-1

In this rollicking mystery, Douglas Perkins of the London public relations firm Perkins & Tate must keep his major clientan American country singerhappy so that his company can stay solvent. It is no easy task. Black Bart is a tyrant whose sexual appetite for young girls has forced him to flee the U.S. His troupe includes Lou-Ann Cooney, the ``comedy star,'' and Maw Cooney, the ultimate stage mother; the Cousins, a group of unsavory musicians; Uncle No'ccount; Crystal Harper, Black Bart's sister; and Sam Marcowitz, ``a man who could give wallpaper lessons on fading unobtrusively into the background,'' road manager and brother of Perkins & Tate's financial backer. When Maw Cooney is hurt in a dubious accident, then dies after exclaiming ``The bastard pushed me!'' Perkins is suspicious and apprehensive: He may know who the ``bastard'' is. Perkins and his partner Gerry Tate try unsuccessfully to keep the peace within Black Bart's group, but everyone seems determined to stir up more trouble. Babson ( Reel Murder , Untimely Guest ) has a coolly amused, ironic voice. Though her characters are not fully realized, and the villain is obvious, their antics are reason enough to enjoy this fast-paced mystery. (Oct.)