Another far-fetched adventure for Clara Gamadge, widowed grandmother and dogged amateur sleuth (Pushing Murder, 1993, etc.). Clara's long-ago high-school years were spent at Woolcott Academy, outside Boston, and Louise Littleton, its present head, is an old friend. Now, Louise has asked Clara to be with her when fading, fortysomething superstar actress Margo Llewelyn, another alumnus, makes a threatened visit. Mother of three young daughters by different fathers--TV journalist Patrick Brimmer the only respectable one--Margot is an emotional wreck after years of self- indulgence, and now she begs Louise to take her girls into the school while she fulfills a three-month engagement in London. Louise's ultrareligious secretary Celestra, a fanatic Margo fan, can scarcely contain her hero-worship throughout the visit; three months later, though, it's a different story: Margo returns to pick up her children, and then all hell breaks loose when her body is found, stabbed to death, on the school grounds. But is it really Margo? There's more, much more, including endless frenzied meetings with lawyers, ex-husbands, police and others, while Clara, with her family's patient help, eventually sorts it all out. Only Clara's appealing persona, and her ingratiating way with words, will hold the reader to the end of this nonsense; for many it may not be enough.