cover image Unsafe Harbor

Unsafe Harbor

Jessica Speart, . . Severn, $28.95 (234pp) ISBN 978-0-7278-6430-7

Credible characters, evocative place descriptions and a penetrating look at the world of illegal imports lift Speart's 10th mystery to feature U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent Rachel Porter (after 2005's Restless Waters ). After an idyllic stint in Hawaii, Rachel is back in her native New York City and commuting from the Lower East Side to what so far has proved a tedious new job in Port Elizabeth, N.J. One gray winter morning, she arrives at work to find police swarming around the mobile luncheonette truck operated and owned by her Polish-immigrant friend, Magda, who has discovered the body of a prominent Manhattan socialite, Bitsy von Falken. Rachel later sees Magda wearing an expensive shawl that she says a friend gave her, but when Rachel identifies the exotic material as illegal Tibetan antelope fur, Magda admits she took it from the murder victim. Rachel launches a dangerous investigation that will expose animal abuse and other crimes among New York's elite. Both established fans and new readers will cheer the gutsy Rachel every step of the way. (May)