Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cheating at Solitaire-Jane Haddam

Cheating at Solitaire
Jane Haddam
St. Martin's, Mar 2008, $24.95
ISBN 9780312343088

In Philadelphia Gregor Demarkian and Bennis Hannaford are planning to marry after seeing each other exclusively for quite some time. However, the wedding preparation demands are driving the sleuth crazy. He considers eloping, but his beloved Bennis is looking forward to the ceremony celebrated with their family and friends.

Thus when he has an opportunity to escape to New England to work on a high visibility homicide, he does not need a second invitation; Gregor informs Bennis that whatever she does re the nuptials in his absence is acceptable by him as he leaves town immediately for Margaret's Harbor. Famous celebrity Arrow Normand and her boyfriend of the moment Mark Anderman were filming on location when she was murdered during a nasty nor'easter. Normand was arrested for the murder.

CHEATING AT SOLITAIRE is a terrific whodunit as the hero struggles with a case involving pseudo and 15 minute celebrities; a sub-species he does not understand. Gregor’s difficulties with what makes the shallow in-crowd tick turn this into a superior entry in a strong series, as he cannot find a reliable motive for the homicide while also working a couple of other investigations.

Harriet Klausner