BAD MANNERS by Marne Davis Kellogg


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 ``I wondered how long it would be before Walter Butterfield got his,'' debuting heroine Lilly Bennett muses about the venal, lecherous neighboring rancher and chairman of the Butterfield Foundation on the night of his 75th birthday party. She doesn't have long to wait: He exits the party with his head blown off, his daughter Ellen standing over him holding a shotgun. But it's Ellen's twin sister, Christine, who's soon headed for the hoosegow. Ellen had told Lilly she thought her father was being blackmailed after he brought in an outsider to run his newspaper and threatened to replace her on the foundation board; Christine was turned into a drug addict by her father's years of sexual abuse. Of course it isn't that simple to Lilly, who put in 20 years as a California cop before coming home to the family spread in Wyoming and setting up Bennett Security International. Driven by her conviction that Ellen and Christine are innocent, she's soon up to her elbows in New West gargoyles: the twins' stepmother Pamela (nÇe Ramona P. Gryczkowski, the local homecoming queen); randy insurance broker Carl Rosak (Pam's homecoming king, etc., etc.); Pam's current lover, the ranch foreman with only one thing in his pants; Walter's last mistress, the transsexual rodeo queen. With the help of dishy opryland roper Richard Jerome and her brother Eli, a CIA agent turned rancher who's into surveillance, Lilly eavesdrops on every conversation in the Butterfield household for a week, which seems kind of an unfair advantage. No suspense, no tension, but lots of fun.

Pub Date: March 3rd, 1995
ISBN: 0-446-51836-0
Page count: 272pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1995


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