WOMAN WITHOUT A PAST by Phyllis A. Whitney


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 The beloved Whitney romance/suspense formula in its umpteenth manifestation: sensible heroine (although given to thrills of fear); a quite decent mystery; and a Michelin-style tour of the latest setting. This time it's Charleston, where a mystery writer travels to meet the family she never knew she had and, in the ancestral bailiwick, a murderer. Again with Whitney, there's no time a-wastin': On page seven, narrator Molly Hunt is confronted, in her New York office, by one Charles Landry, who blurts out: ``I am engaged to marry your...identical twin sister.'' Then Molly, adopted as a baby and raised in New York, is off--reluctantly at first--to Charleston, where she'll meet mirror-image Amelia Mountfort. But the Mountfort family--Amelia is thrilled to see Molly; others are less so--has secrets, and Molly has questions: Why did Molly/Amelia's father die suddenly some years ago? How did Nathaniel, a family tutor, drown? Meanwhile, there are some rum family members: cousin Honoria holds psychic conversations with Nathaniel, who seems to be quite knowledgeable; Honoria's husband, Porter, is stiff and standoffish; and Valerie, who is certainly Molly's mother, is just plain hateful. Also, the housekeeper, Ovra, must know something about the kidnapping of baby Molly. Before it's all sorted out, there will be a terrifying trip with Valerie, a letter from a dead father, a plunge through a deadly prop-room, and two deaths. And, of course, there's a sightseeing jaunt through old Charleston. The author--now 80 plus--stays the course, to the joy of her devoted readership. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for July)

Pub Date: June 21st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-41784-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991


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