Harper, Aug 2 2011, $24.99
After being accused of plagiarism and subsequently dumped by her long time lover, Phoebe Hall leaves Manhattan to go to the sleepy town of Lyle, Pennsylvania. Her best friend Glenda Johns heads the private college and hired Phoebe to teach a couple of classes.
The campus is in an uproar when the body of student Lily Marks is recovered from a nearby river. Several months ago the deceased’s boyfriend disappeared and was never heard from since. Wesley, a student at the school, was at a bar; the next thing he knew he was swimming for his life. Glenda tries to control negative publicity, but asks Phoebe to look into the rumors of a deadly secret society called the Sixes. Something Lily said to her before she died makes Phoebe believe the late student belonged to the Sixes. She also believes the group targets her by breaking into her home and leaving behind six spoons on the table and another time putting blood in her the dishwasher while she sleeps; blood and soap pours out of the appliance. They top that mischief with six dead rats in her freezer. Refusing to be a victim or a runaway, Phoebe investigates who killed the students and the college security chief.
Putting aside the premise that Lily would her life to help her best friend when at least one homicide occurred rather than hiring a professional, this amateur sleuth tale contains two equal suspenseful subplots: the students’ murders and finding out if the Sixes exist and if so who the members are. The people at the college she speaks to may be part of the Sixes so Phoebe risks her life to uncover the truth as some of those refusing to talk may be lethal while others afraid. Kate White provides a chilling disturbing thriller.