cover image Wavewalker


Stella Duffy. Serpent's Tail, $13.99 (272pp) ISBN 978-1-85242-508-1

The arrival of a newspaper clipping and a pile of money in a detective's morning mail gets this second mystery featuring likable lesbian detective Saz Martin off to a wobbly start, as her anonymous client fails to tell the eager detective what, exactly, it is she should look for and where she should send her findings. In this sequel to Duffy's Calendar Girl, Saz (lest you forget her sexual orientation, there's a sex scene in nearly every chapter) is on the case of the charming-but-evil guru Max North. North is ruthlessly determined to see his pop-psychiatry take over the world, but Saz, who peppily ingratiates herself into his work and home life, will see about that. Against a backdrop of his cult, her gorgeous lover and a series of gruesome murders disguised as suicides, there is no question who will prevail. Whodunit is plenty obvious and the anonymous client is sussed out early on, but descriptions of 1970s hippie San Francisco, 1990s cozy lesbian domesticity and two decades of power and murder are likely to keep readers riveted nonetheless. (Nov.)