WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JENNIFER STEELE? by Jean Ruryk

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO JENNIFER STEELE?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Everybody hopes to find treasures among the trash in antique shops, but furniture restorer Catherine Wilde hits the jackpot at Canterbury House: a bag lady who turns out to be Jennifer Steele, onetime TV actress and childhood friend of Cat's late daughter Laurie. Cat takes Jenny home, gets her a medical checkup, gently massages her memory, and soon discovers the trauma that pushed her into the streets: the murder of her lover, press photographer Jason Cody, at their apartment last year, and the subsequent attempt on Jenny's own life by a hit-and-run driver. Now that Jenny's slowly getting back to something like her old self, it looks like the killer's back in full force, too, attacking Jenny and killing her devoted fan, Canterbury House buyer Larry Mendelsohn. Are the murders tied in to a packet of nasty photos with another antique connection, or to the possibly bigamous second marriage of dazzling, egocentric Nancy Lee Rountree, Jason's ex? Just keep an eye on Cat and her unlikely allies--ex-police reporter Mike Melnyk, whose heart's as big as a house but not as strong, and his estranged foster son Nick Kramer, who may be a gangster as well as a lawyer. Cat's thin but entertaining second outing (Chicken Little Was Right, 1994, not reviewed) is full of heartwarming recoveries, dead-ended subplots, alarums and excursions--just not much mystery or detection.

Pub Date: March 8th, 1996
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's