MURDER TIMES TWO by Haughton Murphy


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More undemanding fare from Murphy (Murder Keeps a Secret, etc.), who here includes series sleuth--retired attorney Reuben Frost--among the suspects when wealthy, twice-married, alcoholic Tobias Vandermeer is poisoned during their reading club's rehashing of Vanity Fair, With old friend NYPD cop Luis Bautista unavailable to vouch for him, Reuben and wife Cynthia defend themselves by poking into matters at Chase & Ward, Reuben's old firm, and into Tobias' estate settlers; nipping off to Rio and interrogating Tobias' first wife; surveying the mourners after wife #2 is strangled; analyzing various reading club members' motives--including the murky financial status of Tobias' Bloemendael Foundation trustees; and tracking down Pace Padgett, the catering company's waiter who vanished right after washing up. Ultimately, Reuben and his new tool, a PC, narrow the possibilities, and the wily retiree confronts the two murderers--who acted independently, each thinking he was next in line to inherit. As usual, an amiable explanation of legal folderol, warm byplay between Reuben and Cynthia, and extremely unsubtle clues. A pleasant, ever-so-civilized diversion.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1990
Publisher: Simon & Schuster