Sunday, December 2, 2007

They Did It With Love-Kate Morgenroth

They Did It With Love
Kate Morgenroth
Plume, Dec 2007, $14.00
ISBN: 9780452288973

Following the death of her ice cold father, twenty-something Sofie and her husband Dean move from Manhattan to affluent Greenwich, Connecticut. She joins other married females (friendly Susan, trophy wife Ashley, unhappy Julia and acrimonious “president” Priscilla) in a local mystery book club that becomes the center of her activities in the burbs.

Sofie and Priscilla are walking when the former sees Julia hanging from a tree, an apparent suicide. GPD Detective Peters affirms the death scene looks like a suicide, but he finds it too coincidental that the first wife of the victim’s husband Alex killed herself too; that first death Peters felt was more suspicious looking than this one so he wonders if Alex improved. However, like the stars of the amateur sleuths she has recently read mostly to avoid the wrath of Pricilla, Sofie has some doubts too. The other surviving club members believe Alex killed his wife. As Dean and Priscilla begin an affair, the club president pushes Sofie to investigate while Alex turns to her also insisting his late second wife had a secret lover, who may have killed her to keep her silent. Sofie begins to turn around her opinion that he is the killer especially when she learns how social Dean has gotten with the mystery book club memberships.

This is entertaining police procedural amateur sleuth tale starring a fully developed cast of wealthy people. The story line is character driven as readers meet up front the couples and two competing detectives (GPD and the Office of the DA) so that any of the book club members even Sofie or their spouses could be the killer as few accept suicide. Well written, fans who like to match wits with the author and the sleuths will find a coda revealing twist involving victim vs. villain needed to solve the case as crime caper fans will relish the aptly titled THEY DID IT WITH LOVE.

Harriet Klausner