cover image Marriage Is Murder

Marriage Is Murder

Nancy Pickard. Scribner Book Company, $14.95 (210pp) ISBN 978-0-684-18760-0

Jenny Cain, altruistic, bright and rich, is about to marry her policeman-lover Geof Bushfield, when events in this sprightly and intriguing mystery make them pause before taking their final vows. An inexplicable rash of domestic violence has hit the small town of Port Frederick, Mass.three husbands in two weeks have been shot and killed by their battered wivesand Geof, depressed, is considering leaving the force, and is even having grave doubts about gettng married. Jenny (seen in Pickard's No Body et al) is more resolute and puts together a task force of social workers, psychologists, and doctors to pry into the cause of the alarming increase in family violence. She also decides to do some sleuthing on her own and turns up puzzling similarities in all the killings. All three women, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, vehemently deny killing their spouses. And in each case, the murder weapon is nowhere to be found. Jenny even begins to consider a conspiracy afoot against violent husbands. An energetic array of Jenny's friends and co-workers keep this novel a fine mix of romance, violence, and sleuthing moving at a fast clip. (September 24)