cover image Cheating at Solitaire: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

Cheating at Solitaire: A Gregor Demarkian Novel

Jane Haddam, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95 (391pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34308-8

At the start of Haddam's stellar 22nd Gregor Demarkian whodunit (after 2007's Glass Houses ), Demarkian is finally about to marry his longtime significant other, Bennis Hannaford. When the extensive wedding preparations take their toll, the detective welcomes the chance to leave his native Philadelphia and investigate a high-profile crime on the Martha's Vineyard–like island of Margaret's Harbor, where Arrow Normand, a Britney Spears–like pop icon, and her current boyfriend, Mark Anderman, had been filming a movie. During a raging nor'easter, Anderman was shot to death and Normand later arrested as the prime suspect. Plunged into the world of superficial celebrities, the traditional Demarkian struggles to identify the motive behind the murder as well as solve the bizarre mutilation of a local photojournalist and yet another killing. Haddam provides a completely fair and logical solution, even if it's not her twistiest, and to her credit, she examines the shallow lives of Normand and her crowd with some sympathy. (Mar.)