London University lecturer Loretta Lawson (A Masculine Ending) is somewhat disgruntled when Sandy Neil--a woman she disliked in a consciousness-raising group over a decade ago--comes to stay with her over the holidays. But a week later, on New Year's Eve, Sandy is killed in a car accident--though she may have been dead before the automobile crashed near Shore House, co-owned by her and her supposedly estranged husband Tom. Snooping through the luggage that Sandy left at her place, Loretta finds over two thousand pounds in cash, plus a postcard from a young lover. Then Sandy's daughter admits she hasn't seen Mum since August; Sandy's health club boss said she stole over five thousand pounds from the juice bar; and Loretta's apartment is burgled. Working with Detective Constable Derek Ghilardi, Loretta ponders some Golden Agetype clues (missing spectacles, etc.) while dealing with her C.R. group's memorial to Sandy, Sandy's improper behavior toward her daughter and son (which horrified her husband), and her own dying love affair before putting together a probable picture of Sandy's final, tumultuous hours. Articulate, tightly woven, and one of the more engaging arguments for adopting a feminist sensibility. Not as wry as its predecessor, but still amiable.