Beth Austin (The Mark Twain Murders, 1989), a young English professor from Chicago, is on a winter vacation at Hawaii's top-of- the-line Royal Aloha Hotel--courtesy of a grandmother's trust fund. Her first tennis game introduces her to Zip Heinz, the pro, and a group of longtime repeat guests--Bruce Howard, reportedly a lottery winner big-time, and his sleek, demanding wife, Carlotta; tax lawyer Burt Breneman with adoring wife Suzy; advertising-whiz Twinky Delorio and his physician wife--improbably nicknamed ``Doc''--along with Beth's assigned partner, well-known novelist and bachelor Link Lowenstein. The hotel's routine is scarcely ruffled by the death (accident or suicide?) of guest Eleanor Lunette, a fashion designer, but Beth is troubled by the telephone conversation she overheard from Eleanor's room. When Zip's body is found on the exercise trail, his throat slit, followed days later by Twinky, killed the same way, Beth enlists the help of Link and his elderly lawyer friend Sig in finding clues and, perhaps, the murderer. Reams of devious questioning--of staff and guests--ensue, along with much boring speculation, interspersed with frequent references to George Eliot's Middlemarch. Uncompelling answers are found at last, but the reader's enduring question may be why--in one of the world's most romantic spots, with an attractive man at her side--Beth is wasting her grandmother's largesse on a nasty job that cries out for the professional investigators strangely missing here. A breezy, ultimately silly story.