cover image Never Sleep with Strangers

Never Sleep with Strangers

Heather Graham. Mira Books, $5.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55166-445-3

An exceptionally dexterous mystery-cum-romance assembles a group of mystery writers for a charity Mystery Week Game held in Jon Stuart's Scottish castle. Sabrina Holloway had missed the previous event four years earlier when Jon's beautiful, shrewish wife fell to her death. Deemed an accident, many still suspect murder, and Jon cannot be ruled out. The narrative wanders a bit as it hops between characters' beds and heads, though both perambulations are elements in stirring the suspense. Sabrina continually fends off a randy ex-husband while falling again for the dark mystery man, Jon, who she once loved. Pozzessere (If Looks Could Kill) designs an exceptional setting that includes a crypt, secret passages and a dungeon filled with realistic tableaux of wax figures--all historical murderers, sadists, torturers and the tortured who resemble the lively bickering writers in attendance. A few mysterious diversions lack impact but the final who of this whodunit is delightfully unexpected. (July)