MURDER IN THE CIA by Margaret Truman
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Truman's eighth Washington-based mystery is probably her least amusing, least who-dunitty thriller so far--with a plot that's part espionage, part contempo-gothic, and all formula. D.C. literary agent Barrie Mayer is murdered with poison at Heathrow airport just as she's about to depart for Budapest--on literary business, but also on a CIA mission: Barrie, you see, is a part-time Agency courier, and the CIA briefcase she was carrying is stolen during the sneaky airport-attack. Who killed Barrie and why? That's the assignment for Barrie's best friend Collette Cahill, an Embassy official in Prague and full-fledged CIA operative. So Collette is soon quizzing--and being more or less seduced by--the two handsome CIA men who were Barrie's lovers: suave NY/DC psychiatrist/hypnotist Jason Tolker; and hunky British Virgin Islands yacht-captain Eric Edwards, security-overseer for the BVI planning-sessions of ""Banana Quick, perhaps the most important and ambitious clandestine operation the Company had ever undertaken."" Which suitor is the traitor/killer who's been leaking Banana Quick data to the KGB? And can Collette trust the obligatory suitor #3, investigative journalist Vern? Truman fills out this standard scenario with international scenery, tidbits of action (a yacht explosion), and restaurant meals. The predictable anti-CIA message--no-nonsense Collette, implausibly naive at the start, gets severely disillusioned--is given a personal edge, with references to Pres. Truman's CIA views. But the treatment overall remains slow-moving and routinely professional: serviceable entertainment at best for Truman's loyal following.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1987
Publisher: Random House