FINAL CLOSING by Barbara Lee


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 Fortyish Eve Elliot (Death in Still Waters, 1995) has left behind her broken marriage and New York advertising job to settle in Pines on Magothy, Virginia, where she's helping her aging, ailing Aunt Lillian Weber, a village realtor. Living in a cottage left by the late Ray Tilghman, caring for his two dogs as part of the deal, and with her on-again, off-again young lover Will St. Claire in a cabin nearby, Eve is now part of the local real-estate community. The women in said community are being frightened by a series of anonymous, obscene phone calls and, more seriously, by the murder, at the site of a house-viewing, of none-too-ethical Rose Macklin, an agent working for personable Mitch Gaylin. It's Eve who finds the body of the second victim--agent Leslie Hammond- -in the empty pool of the vacant, on-the-market house of divorcing Elizabeth and Hamm Hammett. Eve soon verifies rumors of an affair between Leslie and Hammett, then begins to find holes in the alibis of Hamm and his wife, who'd supposedly been in the company of Jack Hardwick, newly installed pastor of Church in the Pines, at the time of the murder. All of this Eve passes along to harried Detective Simmons, but that doesn't protect her from a thoroughly nasty visit from the caller and a not-very-scary confrontation with an off-the-wall killer. An introspective sort, Eve is much given to soul-searching, sleepless nights, impromptu meals, running late on a hectic schedule, and agitating over the ever more urgent decision--stay in Pines on Magothy or accept a lucrative job offer from New York? The mostly bland characters and feeble resolution are no pluses here, but a likable heroine, an easy style, and the warm village portrait make this one mildly intriguing.

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-16762-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1997