cover image Not Exactly a Brahmin

Not Exactly a Brahmin

Susan Dunlap. St. Martin's Press, $12.95 (211pp) ISBN 978-0-312-57947-0

Berkeley cop Jill Smith, newly promoted to homicide detective, has a puzzle on her hands. Wealthy Ralph Palmerston, an influential member of Berkeley high society, was killed when his Cadillac's brakes failed on the city's steepest hill on the stormiest night of the year. Examination of the car shows that the brake lines had been skillfully cut only a few hours after the car had been serviced by Berkeley's best mechanic. But who would want to kill the philanthropic Palmerston, who seemed to have had no enemies? Jill's only clue is a scribbled note bearing the name of a mysterious group: Shareholders-5. Before finally bringing the killer to justice, she must deal with a cop-hating private detective, the dead man's wife and her mysterious past, and a strange Halloween party. Dunlap's sense of wry humor and authentic Berkeley locations provide a suspenseful, fast-paced mystery. December 26