A CRY FOR SELF-HELP by Jaqueline Girdner


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Eighth in this only-in-California series featuring Kate Jasper, inventor and merchandiser of antic gift items (Most Likely to Die, 1996, etc.). Kate and restaurant owner/fiancâ Wayne Caruso are enrolled in a Wedding Ritual seminar run by bouncy Yvonne O'Reilley. Unconventional ceremonies are observed by class participants before they plan their own nuptials. Among others in Kate's group are grandiose guru Sam Skyler, head of the Skyler Institute for Essential Manifestation; his gorgeous fiancâe Diana Atherton; Diana's mother Liz; Sam's son Nathan and his statuesque lover Martina--both active at the Institute; funeral director Tessa and her soon-to-retire policeman Ray Zappa. The members of the seminar are gathered at the top of a craggy cliff to watch an undersea wedding on the beach when Kate spies Sam's body spread-eagled on the rocks below. The police call it murder, and, aware of Kate's past crime-solving exploits, Diana asks her to help with the investigation. In the end, the solution owes nothing to Kate's efforts, but before it's arrived at the reader is treated to a spate of New Age phenomena--Tantric yoga, tai chai, vegetarianism, and a panoply of guruisms from finger puppets to slogans like ""Grief Into Growth."" Kate's in perpetual motion here; the scene itself has some amusing moments, though the story, except for the exotic trimmings, remains stubbornly unexciting.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0759283524
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Berkley