Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE GROANING BOARD by Annette Meyers


by Annette Meyers

Pub Date: June 6th, 1997
ISBN: 0-385-47654-X
Publisher: Doubleday

 In the seventh of this series (These Bones Were Made for Dancin', 1995, etc.), Wall Street headhunters Xenia Smith and Leslie Wetzon are still in business, and Leslie is still romantically, if tenuously, involved with NYPD Detective Silvestri. At the moment, Xenia is planning a party menu with wealthy Alice Barron (known as A.T.) and her hard-drinking partner Micklynn Devora--owners of a trendy catering firm. Also present, and a seeming source of conflict, is beautiful 16-year-old Ellen, an orphaned cousin of Micklynn's late husband who's been taken in by Micklynn but is clearly under A.T.'s wing. Meanwhile, Todd Buchanan, Ellen's unappetizing boyfriend, is anathema to Micklynn. Fast forward three months, then, to July 4th, when Xenia and Leslie, on their way to a party aboard a yacht, spy a body floating in the Hudson. It's that of Micklynn, and an autopsy finds poison the cause of death--the same rare poison that, months back, killed Sheila Gelber, a sister-in-law of Silvestri's onetime partner Artie Metzger. Sheila had been a friend of Micklynn's and a teacher at the respected Colton school, where Ellen is a top-ranked student. Leslie's affair with Silvestri is now kaput, but there's a burgeoning relationship with lawyer Bill Veeder. Leslie suspects A.T. in Micklynn's death and, spinning off her own investigative forays, eventually nails the killer even though she's besieged by threatening phone calls, cutthroat competitors, a traitor on her staff, doubts about her feelings for the married Veeder, and a heavy social schedule. Same old celebrity name-dropping; edgy, often vapid chatter; and a jumble of subplots and determinedly ditzy characters. But, hey, there's always fun to be had reading about people who order in hamburgers from ``21.''