ROUGH RED by Martin Sylvester


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Wine merchant William Warner, the stylish rouÉ-sleuth of A Lethal Vintage and A Dangerous Age, happily interrupts a lethargic sojourn in southern France to help another vacationing English couple, a doctor and his wife, find their daughter, who was whisked away during the Cubzec fete. When last seen, Cathy was being escorted into a car with Spanish plates. So William, leaving wife Claudine and their daughters to fend for themselves, invites his mistress Ginny to join him in Iberia, where they deal with a ransom note, spy on the well-barricaded Stephenson family, arrange a swap--the Stephenson daughter for the doctor's--are followed, threatened, and then coerced into yet another swap, now the doctor's daughter for big bucks and the Delgado family ring (which, supposedly, the doctor has--except that he doesn't). After much skulduggery with bank vaults and reopened crypts, the busy William gets back daddy's girl while the wily perps finance the Catalonian separatist movement with long-hidden Civil War assets. Droll commentary on the mechanics of adultery, fathers, and pubescent daughters, though the plot lags behind these lusty vignettes. Still, William is a charmer.

Pub Date: June 4th, 1990
Publisher: Villard/Random House