BAD BLOOD by P.M. Carlson


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When Rina Marshall's daughter, Ginny, suddenly disappears and a guest at her mother Leonora's bridge party, the very charming John Spencer, is found dead near the school library with Ginny's scissors skewering him, everyone is eager to find the teenager. Where is she? She leaves a message and says Philly, but, actually, the adopted Ginny has gone in search of her real mom--and turned up at Maggie Ryan's New York doorstep. To prove her illegitimate daughter innocent, the resourceful Maggie, in the guise of a magazine reporter, insinuates herself into the Marshall household, interviews the members of the bridge party, and nit-picks the dead man's life until she uncovers the real story: blackmail. He bilked everyone--from Rina, who didn't want the world to know Ginny was adopted, to Ginny's boyfriend's mother (drugs). While Maggie wrestles with the blackmailees, Ginny wrestles with Maggie's decision, 16 years before, to put her up for adoption. One more blackmailee comes to light before Ginny returns to suburban Maryland and she and her birth-mom come to an emotional rapprochement. Genuinely moving, and while Maggie is less bouncy than before (Murder Misread, 1990), she is more honest, and her outspokenness is a major plus here. Another strong entry in the Perfect Crime series.

Pub Date: Dec. 24th, 1991
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Doubleday