A first novel set in the Georgia college town of Delphi, where Nick Lambros, a Greek immigrant, and wife Julia, a sometime...

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SO DEAR TO WICKED MEN

A first novel set in the Georgia college town of Delphi, where Nick Lambros, a Greek immigrant, and wife Julia, a sometime speech pathologist, own the Oracle Cafe. The two work long, hard hours, starting with the regular breakfasters, the Buffaloes--a group of local businessmen. One morning Glenn Bohannon, a recent arrival from Texas exploring the start-up possibilities of a Tex-Mex restaurant, is sitting with the group when he keels over and dies--poisoned. Nick and Julia are redneck Sheriff Cal Taylor's prime suspects. They're also fighters, know they're being set up, and decide to investigate on their own, starting with Bohannon's affair with banker Morgan Fox's oh-so-proper wife Dina. Dina's brother Bobby, crippled and near speechless after a car crash, manages to provide a useful lead. So does Nick and Julia's new cook Spiro, a massive Greek who drives a huge old Pontiac and rents in an area with an ever-changing Spanish population. His rental agent is gorgeous Connie Santos, another of Bohannon's amours, who works for Delphi Rental Properties--ownership carefully obscure. Obscene phone calls, attacks in the night, and another killing spur the feisty couple on--their risky illegal entries and thefts of crucial records eventually uncovering a pillars-of-the-community conspiracy headed by a ruthless but talkative killer. A kind of Nick and Nora for the '90s, this couple radiates warmth and charm, as do some of the minor characters: a slightly overplotted but well-written, fast-paced debut.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1996