Monday, June 09, 2008

The Unkindest Cut - Honor Hartman


The Unkindest Cut
A Bridge Club Mystery
Honor Hartman
Obsidian

Mystery/Cozy

The more Emma Diamond plays bridge (even on the computer) the more she likes it. Although she’s still new to the game, she enjoys the strategy and challenge. Her neighbors, Sophie and Marylou, are both bridge players, too. One of Marylou’s best friends is visiting, and she wants to introduce Sophie and Emma to her. The first meeting is less than auspicious. Paula Trowbridge comes across as a bitter and self-centered woman. Over lunch, she tells the other three that while she’s currently married to Avery Trowbridge (a celebrity in the bridge world,) she’s positive that her first husband, Basil (another high-ranking bridge player and teacher,) wants her back. And she’s definitely interested.

Paula invites the other three to accompany her to a bridge retreat in the Texas Hill Country. True, Basil is scheduled to teach at the retreat, but Avery should be nowhere near the place. Of course, Avery shows up the very first day. If his attitude toward Paula in public is even half as bad as it is in private, Emma can understand Paula’s negative outlook on life. Paula isn’t the only one with reason to dislike Avery. He’s just fired his agent, and he angers the retreat participants by showing up, uninvited, and offering his services as a teacher and bridge partner. When he’s found dead, Emma is horrified, but not exactly surprised.

This second installment is a great follow-up to ON THE SLAM. The bridge retreat offers a wealth of possible suspects, from Paula and Basil, to participants, and even the hotel staff. Emma and her friends get involved in the investigation when suspicion falls on Paula, and it seems logical for them to do so. Of course, there’s a lot of bridge, but you don’t have to play or understand the game in order to enjoy the mystery. If this series piques your interest in bridge, though, the author provides tips and sources for more information.

Rating: 7
June 2008
ISBN# 978-0-451-22436-1 (paperback)

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