Friday, March 21, 2008

Murder Melts In Your Mouth - Nancy Martin

Murder Melts In Your Mouth
A Blackbird Sisters Mystery
Nancy Martin


It’s summer in Philadelphia, and the heat wave makes it feel like everything is melting. Nora Blackbird, former socialite, now broke and working as the society columnist for the paper, has a new assignment: to cover the Chocolate Festival Gala. Before that, she has to deal with her sisters. Libby managed to get hit by a Rolls while crossing the street and is currently ensconced in the air conditioned serenity of the Ritz-Carlton, all on the tab of the mystery Rolls driver. That means Nora is now responsible for Libby’s five children. Nora calls them ‘monsters,’ and I cannot disagree.

Walking more than a few blocks in the heat is impossible, so, on the way to the paper, Nora ducks into a popular restaurant. Inside, she sees her younger sister, Emma, who is showing all the signs of descending into another alcoholic binge. Crewe Dearborne is there, too, and the two catch up on gossip. Crewe has been seeing Nora’s oldest friend, Lexie, a financial genius. But lately, Lexie has been acting distant. As it happens, Lexie is in some potentially serious trouble. Her former business partner, Hoyt Cavendish, has just been caught stealing from clients. That very afternoon, Hoyt makes a very unscheduled swan dive from the penthouse of his building. Anyone who was swindled is a suspect, but the authorities are focusing on Lexie. Nora knows that can’t be, and decides to track down the truth.

Nora, last seen in A CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DEATH, is a wonderful character. She was raised in the midst of Philadelphia’s Main Line Society, but when her parents cleaned out the trust funds left for her and her sisters, a major adjustment in lifestyle was necessary. It’s not what she imagined for herself, but she’s not wallowing in denial or self-pity; she’s doing what she must to make a life for herself. She’s a strong woman, intelligent, and amazingly loyal to two sisters who seem to be perpetually in danger of sailing off the edge of reason. There are plenty of suspects in this satisfyingly complex mystery. But, as always, Nora, with her sense of fashion and knowledge of the social register, is the star.

Rating: 7 ½
March 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22311-1 (hardcover)


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