Murder on Philadelphia’s Main Line distracts a society columnist from her busy social life.
Since she stops every five minutes to turn green and vomit, observant folks might figure that The Intelligencer’s Nora Blackbird (Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die, 2005) is pregnant. But of her two sisters and her two lovers, only one of each starts out in the know. Part-time dominatrix Emma and goody-two-shoes crime reporter Richard D’eath both know Nora’s little secret, but she’s kept yoga-freak Libby and mobster Michael Abruzzo in the dark while deciding who she wants to be “the father of my child,” an honor she assumes either gene-pool applicant would be thrilled to accept, whatever the DNA says. Nora’s maternal stirrings are rudely interrupted by the murder of Zell Orcutt, shot by bow and arrow at nearby Fitch’s Fancy while he’s selling off its assets to finance Cupcakes, his strip club. The police suspect Delilah Fairweather because she’s black and she won some archery medals years ago at summer camp, but Nora’s checking out semi-senile Pierpoint Fitch and his dim state senator son Boykin, whose family heirlooms Zell just put up for auction, as well as stepdaughter Verbena Barnstable, whose daughter Clover is shaking her teenaged booty on Cupcakes.
Nora’s social connections and bedrock sentimentality rub all the sharp edges off her alley-cat behavior. Instead of Tart Noir, think Slut Gris.