THE LAST ANNUAL SLUGFEST by Susan Dunlap

THE LAST ANNUAL SLUGFEST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another adventure in the California boonies for nosy San Fran transplant Vejay Haskell, now a meter reader in Henderson, on the Russian River, when she's not trying to do the work of Sheriff Wescott (An Equal Opportunity Death). Their efforts this time are concentrated on the poison death of town doyenne Edwina Henderson at the annual slug-eating contest in Bert Lucci's falling, down lodge, to which Edwina (a local powerhouse in environmental and Pomo Indian causes) had drawn TV and radio coverage for an important announcement--which turns out to be her discovery of an old Indian Treaty, now found after her death and pronounced a fake by visiting expert Harry Bramwell. The sheriff arrests young fisherman Chris Fortimiglio on what Vejay considers flimsy evidence. She proceeds to cross-examine everyone in buttonholing distance, including Edwina's lesbian niece Leila--in her aunt's bad graces for years, after a high-school fling with an unnamed lover. The real murder motive surfaces many days later, in the wake of Leila's disappearance and amidst some odd doings along the river front, It's no more far-fetched than most of the goings-on in Henderson. Overplotted, over-populated, overwrought, and dull.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1986
Publisher: St. Martin's