cover image Hard Tack: A Cat Marsala Mystery

Hard Tack: A Cat Marsala Mystery

Barbara D'Amato. Scribner Book Company, $18.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19299-4

Chicago journalist-sleuth Catherine ``Cat'' Marsala , who scored well her first time around (in Hardball ), proves her mettle in her second appearance. On assignment to ``see how the other half lives,'' Cat, who's afraid of water and can't swim, is invited to cruise Lake Michigan on a 62-foot yacht owned and captained by gentlemanly furniture magnate Will Honeywell; others on board are his wife, son and their guests. What starts as smooth sailing, with gourmet food and stimulating companions , turns stormy, as gale winds blow up and two men fight over a society woman who has been toying with both of them. A tranquilizer pacifies one of the combatants, but Mother Nature is not so easily calmed. When morning reveals a murder victim, Cat knows the company must include the killer. Cat needs shrewdness and courage to solve the crime, and she has these in good measure. But her sense of humor and naturalness are what will win readers' hearts. (June)