THE PUZZLED HEART by Amanda Cross

THE PUZZLED HEART

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hold on to your hats: Kate Fansler's husband, law prof Reed Amhearst, has been kidnapped. If Kate doesn't publish a statement recanting the feminist positions she's long shared with her English-prof creator, Cross herself, or if she contacts the authorities, Reed will be killed. Kate's response: ``I hate people who use contact as a verb.'' Soldiering on with nary a split infinitive (though she does stop sipping single-malt in her anxiety), Kate--with the help of her p.i. friend Harriet Furst (An Imperfect Spy, 1995), Harriet's partner Toni Giomatti, and a St. Bernard puppy named Bancroft--wastes no time in locating Reed. But just as the happy couple is congratulating themselves on their near-painless escape from the outrage, and you're becoming convinced that this is another of the limp talkfests that have recently passed for mysteries among Cross's fans, there's a murderous attack in an unexpected quarter, and Kate and Reed have an urgent new reason to figure out who was behind the kidnapping. Wicked right-wing radicals looking to declaw and discredit Kate? A departmental colleague simmering with resentment? A spiteful woman from her distant past? Or a combination of all three? The answers are unguessable (despite Kate's iron principles, her creator still doesn't believe in clues) and unsatisfying, but they do allow a comprehensive tour of contemporary feminism's enemies that makes this Kate's most stimulating outing since The Players Come Again (1990). (Mystery Guild main selection)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-345-41883-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1997




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