MORTAL WORDS by Kathryn Lasky Knight


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Spunky widow Calista Jacobs, a children's book illustrator, and her computer-crazy son Charley return (Trace Elements, 1986). In this second outing, the two join forces with Calista's new romance, Archie Baldwin, quirky archeology scholar and Smithsonian stalwart, to solve the murder of children's book author Norman Petrakis--a task that leads (via pirate computer systems and a break-in at Calista's house) to a genetics lab at the University of Minnesota; the Lorne Thurston College of Christian Heritage in Dallas; and a research project at MIT involving the brain. Eventually, then, it becomes clear why Norman was killed: he was about to blow the whistle on some soon-to-be-released rigged Findings that would ""prove"" that the intelligence quotient in black and white skulls were unequal. Before squashing this balderdash, a young Bible-college student, must be gently deprogrammed; Archie's silly cousin Neddy must be confronted and his name withdrawn from a fund-raising endeavor; and the Coastal Research Institute has to be put out of commission (barely leaving Calista time to make her book deadline). Scrumptious digressions, curmudgeonly quotes, and Calista's and Archie's lusty sex-life make this enormously appealing. Brainy, funny, thought-provoking, and everyone will want to adopt Charley.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1990
Publisher: Summit/Simon & Schuster