cover image A Wrongful Death

A Wrongful Death

Kate Wilhelm. Blackstone Audiobooks, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4332-0640-5

In Wilhelm's latest Barbara Holloway mystery, the Oregon-based attorney takes a time-out in a remote cabin in California, where she comes upon and aids an injured Elizabeth Kurtz, who has fled there after finding dangerous information about her ex-husband's family business. The information gets her killed, and because no good deed goes unpunished in tales of murder, Barbara finds herself a suspect. MacDuffie, who has taken over narrating this series from Anna Fields, captures Barbara's range of emotions in a thoughtful performance. Even more impressive is the work she puts into defining the minor characters, from the shrill and fearful Elizabeth, to the neutral tone of the therapist Barbara consults about her fears of commitment. The male characters are equally well conceived, including Elizabeth's ex-husband, who can hiss with menace or be equally threatening when his demeanor is calm and controlled. Even the cabin owner and local California sheriff get their own twangy and crusty accents. MacDuffie's riveting performance is commendable but this pedestrian and insider mystery will baffle newcomers to the series. Simultaneous release with the Mira hardcover (Reviews, July 9).