Long-divorced Bonnie Packard, writer of slightly bizarre unpublished stories, shares a pleasant house and life style on the...

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DON'T DIE ON ME, BILLIE JEAN

Long-divorced Bonnie Packard, writer of slightly bizarre unpublished stories, shares a pleasant house and life style on the French side of the Caribbean's St. Marten Island with 70-ish widow Eleanor Ford. Serenity vanishes, however, with the shooting death of young Alan Ellis, a recent houseguest, son of one of Eleanor's old friends, Currently visiting is famed cook Winston Winkle, whose new book is a collaboration with island restauranteur Celestine. Celestine dies within days of Winkle's arrival. So does Bonnie's dog Billie Jean--of an unknown poison. Meanwhile, Ellis' girlfriend Melanie Wheet is roaming the island with small daughter Angela in tow. Another constant presence is handsome, macho pool-mechanic Johnny Rankin. There are more killings, too, before the unsavory truth dawns on Bonnie, who suffers some anxious moments about her own safety before the wrap-up. It's drugs again, with a distribution method as absurd and unconvincing as the rest of the plot, which airily dismisses its dangling loose ends. Forbes has done better (Buried in so Sweet a Place, etc.). All in all, the picture of halycyon island life (for the moneyed) and the occasional insertion of one of Bonnie's dark-edged stories are the best things here.

Pub Date: July 1, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1987