Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Carolyn Hart

Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1997
ISBN: 0-380-97413-4
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins

A third appearance for onetime news reporter Henrietta O'Dwyer Collins (Scandal in Fair Haven, 1994, etc.)—Henrie O to friends and colleagues—a 60ish, widowed, financially independent, and nontenured professor at the Journalism School of Thorndyke University in Derry Hills, Missouri. Here, Henrie O has encouraged Maggie Winslow, a clever, cocky student, in the project the girl had set for herself—the investigation of the town's three unsolved mysteries, one going back 20 years. Maggie's first move is an ad for Clarion, the newspaper for both campus and town, asking for information on the old cases. Days later, Maggie is dead, found strangled in the Lovers' Lane, where a young student-couple were shot to death eight years earlier, the killer never found. Henrie O, feeling responsible for Maggie's death, determines to retrace the steps she had taken in pursuit of her story. Meanwhile, dour Lt. Urschel has arrested Rita Duffy, jealous wife of Clarion's philandering editor Dennis Duffy, following a nasty scene she'd made about Maggie at the Clarion offices on the day of the killing. But Henrie O is convinced the murderer is still at large. By the time she's proved it, the highest levels of the university hierarchy have been broached and a long-delayed justice has been achieved. Complex and suspenseful, written in a Christie-for-the-'90s style, this is a many-faceted exploration of campus life, ego trips, diverse personalities, and puzzle pieces finally made to fit.