DEATH AND THE MAIDEN by James K. MacDougall


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Music-loving private eye David Stuart answers the summons of old pal Terry Winthrop, a lawyer whose client John Stanley has a problem: his five-year-old daughter's been kidnapped. The Stanleys won't go to the cops, so Stuart agrees to help deliver the ransom--but all goes awry, and soon Stuart is discovering two bodies in the Stanleys' country cabin: the girl's (an overdose of sedative) and her father's (shot). To everyone's horror, it seems that Stanley--the proverbial poor son-in-law in a rich family--kidnapped (and accidentally killed) his daughter to get gambling-and-wenching cash. But who killed him? The solution is a grabber, the characters sharp--a distinct step up from Weasel Hunt (1977), which was already a cut above the run-of-the-Ross Macdonalds. But MacDougall is still padding the crisp narrative with pretentious dialogues and the detective's interior breast-beating. Aside from that, a newcomer now coming into his own.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1978
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill