When commercial ad-artist Maggie Newman falls in love with one of her clients, charming toy-company tycoon Peter Drexler,...

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PARLOR GAMES

When commercial ad-artist Maggie Newman falls in love with one of her clients, charming toy-company tycoon Peter Drexler, little does she know what she's getting into. Only gradually does she learn about Susan Ellis, Peter's last girlfriend, who died (a supposed suicide) in a fall from her upper-East-Side terrace. What's more, Susan's rich mother has gone mad from grief, and (recently released from a swank madhouse) she's determined to wreak revenge on poor Peter: convinced that he killed Susan, she first hires someone to harass him, then appears in person to shoot him--and Maggie must watch while Petter pummels mad Mrs. Ellis in self-defense. All that's traumatic enough, but what about Peter's sister Gaff, wife of a lecherous, ambitious congressman? Catty, creepy, and beautiful, Gall is obviously jealous of Maggie, fiercely possessive of Peter. Could she have killed Susan? Is Maggie next? And what is Maggie to think when it becomes obvious that Peter and Gall are more than brother and sister, or when Gail tells her that Peter did indeed kill Susan? With posh Manhattan and Long Island beachhouse settings, this is an all-too-familiar psycho-gothic setup, with a heroine who gets dumber and dumber and only one possible twist--foreseeable from the start; disappointing from Marasco (Burnt Offerings), but a decent, un-sleazy, and fairly painless reworking for Mystery Movie of the Week fans.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1979

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1979