cover image A Candidate for Murder

A Candidate for Murder

Joan Lowery Nixon. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30257-9

Busy with school, a serious romance and her father's gubernatorial campaign, Cary pays little attention to a mysterious conversation she overhears at a party. Only gradually does she suspect that a series of strange events--two break-ins, several ominous phone calls and an attempted murder--are related to her inadvertent eavesdropping. Convinced that Cary knows too much, someone goes to great lengths to ensure that she keeps quiet. Because the evildoers' identities are obvious from the onset, and because the few red herrings are not all that misleading, this novel is more a thriller than a mystery . Believable characters and an ever-mounting level of suspense hold the reader's attention to the finish, when Cary--like any up-to-date feminist heroine--rescues herself from a deadly situation. This thoughtfully rendered portrait of a family entering the political limelight brings to mind the work of Ellen Emerson White ( White House Autumn ; The President's Daught e r ). Ages 12-up. (Apr.)