THE EBONY SWAN by Phyllis A. Whitney


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 Whitney's 36th mystery suspense is tighter, neater, better than ever. This time, the protagonist is a 72-year-old former prima ballerina, although it's her granddaughter who, Whitney-style, follows clues into the past where all those closed doors hiding scandal (and sometimes murder) begin to creak open. The new Whitney settings for the armchair tourist are the northernmost peninsula of Virginia and the once-exotic island of Tangier. Alex Montoro, the widow of deceased Peruvian novelist Juan Gabriel, who married the much younger Alex at the peak of her dancing fame, is not at all sure that she wishes to see granddaughter Susan. Susan's father had swept the girl away when she was six, after Susan's mother Dolores had been killed in a fall--a fall for which the father had blamed Alex. (Yet only a wheelchair-bound Juan Gabriel and Susan were there at Dolores's death.) Susan arrives, impressed by grandmother, intimidated by Theresa, Juan Gabriel's niece (who's a bit sour), and drawn to Dr. Peter. Mysteries swarm. Peter was recently charged with, and acquitted of, the murder of wife Marilyn--had it something to do with notes left by Juan Gabriel? And what could explain the unflattering portrait of Alex in Juan Gabriel's novel? What could explain the anxiety of batty neighbor Hallie, who wants Susan to go home? What was the significance of Juan Gabriel's four last words? Alex holds the most potent secret--something to do with the island of Tangier. A sound, well-crafted mystery with every thread tied and knotted--plus Whitney's usual tour-guide view of some fine coastal scenery. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Summer)

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-385-42443-4
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1992


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