Sunday, May 06, 2007

On the Slam - Honor Hartman

On The Slam
A Bridge Club Mystery
Honor Hartman


Six months after her husband died in a car accident, Emma Diamond moved into a new house, next door to her lifelong friend, Sophie Parker. On the other side of Emma’s house is Marylou, a sixty-something widow. The only real problem with the new place is one Janet McGreevey, the homeowner’s association president. She takes her job extremely seriously, and has a well-deserved reputation for being both intrusive and insensitive. No one has anything good to say about her, and the neighbors are resigned to dealing with her in order to keep peace in the neighborhood.

Emma is reluctant to attend the latest bridge party. First, because it will be organized and hosted by Janet, second, because her bridge skills are beginner level. During the party, Janet digs into Marylou’s famous spinach dip and immediately begins choking. Her death, attributed to a severe peanut allergy, is a shock to everyone. Marylou maintains that nothing even resembling a peanut came near the dip. And there’s no shortage of suspects. Everyone at the party had some kind of reason to wish Janet harm. Emma wants to say out of it, but Sophie and Marylou convince her to join their investigation.

Readers who don’t play bridge at all may be a bit confused or put off by the details of the games. Don’t let it bother you; understanding the actual game play is not necessary to enjoying the mystery. If you’re interested in learning the game, the author includes some good resources and tips at the end of the book to get you started. The mystery is quite interesting, and the author manages to throw in a few good twists towards the end. The number of viable suspects and the ladies’ joint sleuthing efforts keep the story involving. ON THE SLAM is a good start to what promises to be an entertaining series.

Rating: 7
May 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-22140-7 (paperback)


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