DARK SWAN by Kathryn Lasky Knight


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 Children's-book illustrator Calista Jacobs (Mumbo Jumbo, 1991, etc.) and her teenage son, Charley, move to the house of her lover's parents in Boston's Back Bay while hers is being renovated. Neighbor Quintana Kingsley turns out to be an expert on bonsai, the very plants Calista is drawing for her next book, and the two strike up a friendship that comes to an abrupt end when Quintana is found stabbed to death in her greenhouse. At the funeral Calista meets Quintana's extended Brahmin family, and soon she is involved in the murder investigation. Knight captures Boston's odd upper crust perfectly: The family is rife with grown women stuck with nicknames like Bootsie and Titty and keeps a rustic vacation home complete with an Indian name. Charley takes a back seat during most of the action but makes an appearance to do some computer hacking and unearth key evidence. An appropriately dark tone pervades this material, and Calista has a consistent and vibrant personality that works in her favor. Strong content well told in an original voice.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-10961-X
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1994