WICKED DESIGNS by Lillian O'Donnell


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Another case for the less appealing of O'Donnell's two series sleuths--brash but always nobly motivated social worker Mici Anhalt. This time Mici agrees to investigate the subway-station death of onetime schoolteacher and wealthy widow Blanche Landry, whose neurotic suburban nephew refuses to accept the police verdict of ""accident."" And indeed Mici, aided by ex-boyfriend Anthony Rygel from the DA's office, does find some suspicious doings: Blanche's heir and husband-to-be, Admiral Darrenkamp, turns out to be married and no admiral; Blanche's 15-year-old seer, Madame Astra, has a blackmailing brother who's soon to be a murder victim; and, just before she died, Blanche had suddenly met up with her former pupil Vanessa Walsh, elegant and ambitious wife of a gubernatorial candidate. O'Donnell weaves the subplots and personalities together with cheery facility, but the contrivances are transparent, and the evildoings are all unconvincing--especially the arbitrary revelations about drug-dealing and secret drug addictions. Still, glibly entertaining on a scene-by-scene basis--just don't ask questions!

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1980
Publisher: Putnam