cover image Hallowed Murder

Hallowed Murder

Ellen Hart. Seal Press (CA), $8.95 (230pp) ISBN 978-0-931188-83-1

After discovering a sorority sister drowned near her alma mater, restaurateur Jane Lawless embarks on an investigation to untangle the events that led to Allison Lord's death. Because little evidence exists, the police assume Allison committed suicide; but Jane is somehow convinced that the young woman was murdered. This debut mystery ambitiously raises such issues as fundamentalism, homosexuality, bigotry and psychological torment within the family--it is virtually a novel of ideas. And for the most part, the plot is deftly paced, with occasional snags. But when the murderer is revealed, even though the identity comes as a surprise, the character is among the least developed, inspired or provocative in Hart's cast--so outlandish a culprit that the reader is left unmoved. (Oct.)