DEADLY CLIMATE by Richard Barth


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Margaret Binton, Barth's feisty, fearless, 70-ish sleuth, and her band of retirees (The Condo Kill, etc.)--Berdie, Sid and Durso--temporarily leave their beloved Manhattan for Florida after Margaret's winning raffle ticket nets her a Winnebago motor home. Involved before long in providing outings for porch-bound Miami seniors, Margaret encounters the forbidding manager of a plush, canalside nursing home that seems more like a prison--an idea reinforced by a note smuggled to her by one of the residents. The note leads Margaret and cohorts, with help from some new-found friends, to a boat called The Eternal Holidaze--and to what appears to be a drug operation based in the home and run by Dr. Nelson Grimes, the boat's owner. Margaret masterminds Sid into the home and almost out of this world--at which point Captain Diamond, of the South Miami Beach police force, takes over, with results devastating to some of the drug gang but leaving Dr. Grimes untouched. But Margaret has her own ideas of justice and, in an ironic twist, sees Grimes hoist with his own petard. Though a bit slow and sugary at the start, the pace soon quickens, with plenty of action and angst. An entertaining stow that flirts with credibility but ingratiates the reader past caring. Good, clean fun.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's