cover image But I Wouldn't Want to Die There: A Jenny Cain Mystery

But I Wouldn't Want to Die There: A Jenny Cain Mystery

Nancy Pickard. Pocket Books, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-671-72330-9

In the eighth Jenny Cain mystery, Anthony and Agatha Awards-winner Pickard ( I.O.U. ) takes the former charitable foundation director from her home and husband in Port Frederick, Mass., to her beloved Big Apple. Unfortunately, the trip is precipitated by the stabbing death of Jenny's friend Carol Margolis and a plea for help from the foundation Carol worked for that desperately needs an interim director. As assuredly depicted by Pickard, Jenny remains both canny and innocent while confronting such urban realities as a wildly diverse series of cab drivers, a theater company with a surprising approach to Shakespeare and her friend's nasty landlady. Jenny listens to Carol's parents who, in an eloquent passage of gently articulated grief, blame their daughter's death on her deadbeat musician husband. At the foundation, she deals with a couple of angry philanthropists, a woman who runs a halfway house for felons and a suave Frenchman with a direct and novel way of getting inner-city kids to read. All the well-placed clues are eventually drawn together, but not before Jenny has braved the subway, sampled her first Cambodian food and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge under her own steam. A pleasure from start to finish. (Aug.)